VOLVO 200 series (1974-1993)
In August 1974, Volvo presented a new car generation called the 240 series. From production start, there was a 2-door, 4-door and an estate version available.
The 240-series had been developed from the 140-series and were quite similar to its predecessor, also with influences from the VESC safety concept car. The changes included a new protruding front, large bumpers and a further-developed chassis, featuring McPherson front-wheel suspension. At the same time, a new 4-cylinder, 2.1 litre engine series with single overhead camshaft was introduced.
The new 240 - series was developed with rigorous safety requirements in mind. They were, in fact, so rigorous that the car was used as the standard car for safety developments by the authorities in the USA.
The most interesting versions were the 242GT of the late 1970s and the 240 Turbo of the 1980s. Both cars offered spectacular performance and answering in full to the classical proverb 'a wolf in a sheep's clothing'.
When the turbocharged version of the 245 was presented in the USA in 1981, it was the world's fastest estate car.
Volvo's 240 model almost became a classic in its own lifetime as it was produced for nearly 20 years. On two occasions, the car was given a major facelift, for the 1981 and 1986 model years. In all, more than 2.8 million cars in the 240/260 series were built.
The Volvo 264 was introduced in the autumn of 1974 as the successor to the Volvo 164, which was produced simultaneously with the 264 in 1975.
A completely new engine, the PRV-engine, was developed - a V6 with a displacement of 2.7 litres, made entirely of aluminium and developed in collaboration with Peugeot and Renault. The 264 was replaced in 1982 with the all-new 760.
The sedan was followed up by an estate version in August 1975. For the first time, Volvo was now able to offer an estate with a 6-cylinder engine and consolidated its position as one of the leading estate car manufacturers.
The Volvo 262 was a rare version in the Volvo 260 family. Based on the same 2-door body used for the 242, it naturally had the 260-series components and frontal appearance.
The 262 was produced specifically for the North American market and only 3,329 was made between 1975 and 1977.
In 1977, the Volvo 262C was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show. The 262C was a 2-door coupe with four comfortable seats; this was possible as the car had the same wheelbase as the Volvo 264. In addition, it had a much lower roofline than the 4-door cars on which it was based. The windscreen sloped more sharply and the car had a very wide C-pillar. In the first years, the cars were painted silver and had a black vinyl roof. Later, other exterior colours were offered. The interior was very exclusive with soft leather and wood veneer.
The 262C was designed by Volvo in Sweden, but manufactured by Bertone in Italy.
Models: 242, 244, 245, 262, 262 C, 264, 265
Body: 2- and 4-door saloon, 5-door estate
Engines: 2.8 litre petrol V6, 141 hp. 2.0 – 2.3 litre in-line 4-cylinder petrol, 82 – 155 hp. 2.4 litre diesel 6-cyl, 82 hp.
Transmission: 4- or 5-speed manual or 4-speed with electric overdrive. 3- or 4-speed automatic.
Brakes: Hydraulic, disc brakes on all four wheels.
Dimensions: Overall length 490 cm, wheelbase 264 cm.