For release Sept. 9, 2003
New Volvo S40 makes world debut in Frankfurt
FRANKFURT (Sept. 9, 2003) - The world's newest entry-level premium sedan, the Volvo S40, was unveiled today (Tuesday) at Europe's biggest auto exhibition, the 60th Frankfurt Auto Show (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung).
Volvo Car Corporation's second-generation S40 combines a revolutionary interior design, class-leading safety, all-wheel drive and powertrains that feature a new generation of compact, low-friction 5-cylinder engines. It's a combination that, along with an exciting new exterior look, is designed specifically to entice younger buyers.
"We want to attract young buyers into the Volvo family as early as possible, and the outstanding new S40 is the perfect vehicle for the job," said Paul Cummings, president of Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd.
He said expanding the appeal of Volvo cars to younger buyers is an important part of the company's business strategy, and the sporty entry-level S40 strongly supports that goal.
The new 4-door sedan is the first entirely new model from Volvo since the introduction last year of the award-winning Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle. It replaces the current S40, which was launched in Europe in 1995 and introduced in Canada in 2000. The new S40 is the entry-level model in the Volvo S (for sedan) range, which also includes the Volvo S60 and S80.
The new S40 will be built at the Volvo Cars factory in Ghent, Belgium, which has been recently revamped and modernized at a cost of 340 million Euros ($510 million Canadian). The first cars produced in the fall of 2003 are slated for European markets, while Volvo Cars of Canada retailers will have the new S40 in stock in summer of 2004. The worldwide sales target for 2004 is 70,000 vehicles with 1,200 units destined for Canada. For model year 2005, Canadian sales are projected at 2,200.
Prices will be announced closer to public introduction, but Cummings expects them to be only slightly higher than the current S40, even though the new car will be offered with a considerably higher equipment level.
Cummings says the new S40 will be attractive to entry-level buyers moving up into a premium sedan. He expects 30 percent of buyers will be single or married without children and will average 40-years of age.
The S40 introduces a new generation of low-friction, 5-cylinder engines that are considerably lighter and more compact than other engines of the same displacement. By mounting them transversely in the new S40, Volvo engineers and designers were able to use their compact size and light weight to enhance the sedan's performance, driveability and crash safety.
Volvo Canada will offer two versions of the new engine family. The standard engine is a 2.4-litre, normally aspirated version of the engine mated to either a new-generation, 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 5-speed automatic with Geartronic sequential shifting.
A turbocharged 2.5-litre engine in the high-performance Volvo S40 T5 will pump out 218 horsepower and will be offered with either a 6-speed manual transmission developed for the S60 R and V70 R or a 5-speed automatic with Geartronic sequential shifting.
Volvo design chief Henrik Otto says the S40 exterior was designed to express power and performance. Otto says he and his team obtained their inspiration from classic Scandinavian design with its clean shapes and open surfaces, airiness and intimate interplay between form and function.
While the exterior design is fresh and unique, it is still unmistakably Volvo, an evolution of the company's traditional design language. However, the interior is truly revolutionary, with a slim, free-floating centre console - the first of its kind in the automotive world - creating an aura of simplicity and space.
"The centre console is a design icon for the new Volvo S40," says Otto. "We intend to pursue our own course as innovators in the design world, not look at what our competitors are doing. It's far more valuable to keep an eye on what they're not doing."
The S40's advanced safety systems include a patented frontal structure with several crumple zones that continue Volvo's groundbreaking use of high-tensile steel. In the frontal structure, four different grades of steel are used in a high-tech interplay that provides maximum safety for the car's occupants.
The new S40 is the first of a series of new Volvo models sharing common technology. It will be followed by the Volvo V50, a sportswagon destined for showrooms later in 2004.
Volvo Cars of Canada is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Göteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 43 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. The 2004 Volvo vehicle line includes the flagship S80 luxury sedan, versatile V70 wagon and rugged XC70, exotic C70 convertible, the sporty S60 sedan, compact S40 and V40, and the award-winning new Volvo XC90, described as "the next generation SUV."
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Note to editors: Photos of the new Volvo S40 are available at www.volvocars-pr.ca
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