The Volvo V50 was launched in early 2004 as a somewhat larger estate evolution of its Dutch-built V40 predecessor. The design language and the specification level harmonised more closely with the larger Volvo V70 estate car. The aim was to give customers large-car properties in a compact format and with clearly sporty overtones.
The Volvo V50 has been developed to attract young buyers looking for a compact premium estate.
Business project manager: Peter Ewerstrand
New features - the Volvo V50
Please note that some systems and functions are optional.
Five-door sports wagon.
The Volvo V50 has a design with a curved roofline and an abrupt tail section. The car's appearance emanates modern design and speed. This is emphasised by a rounded nose section, short bonnet and pronounced cab-forward stance. Broad shoulders and convex side panels signal power and underscore the car's compact dimensions. The tail lamps follow Volvo's modern form and sweep up towards the roof panel.
The Volvo V50 1.6D DRIVe models have a number of unique aerodynamic design elements that, beside optimising airflow and lowering fuel consumption (and reducing CO2 emissions), visualise the entire DRIVe philosophy. The V50 1.6D DRIVe comes with an aluminium wheel, Libra, in two different sizes, 15" or 16". In addition, the front spoiler comes from the Volvo V50 T5 and D5 models.
As an option, the front side windows can be given an extra water repellent coating. The treatment means that water blows off the glass more easily, improving visibility during rain.
An Auto-fold function is available for the power retractable mirror option. With the Auto-fold function, the mirrors are set to automatically fold in when the car is locked. When the car is unlocked, the mirrors will fold out again.
The following exterior colours are available for the Volvo V50:
* Silver Metallic (426)
* Electric Silver Metallic (477)
* Flint Grey Pearl (462)
* Titanium Grey Pearl (455)
* Ice White (614)
* Safari Green Pearl (464)
* Gekko Green Pearl (488)
* Matt Gold Pearl (489)
* Passion Red Solid (612)
* Maple Red Pearl (478)
* Orinoco Blue Pearl (479)
* Brilliant Blue Pearl (476)
* Chameleon Blue Pearl (490)
* Barents Blue Pearl (466)
* Black Stone Solid (019)
* Black Sapphire Metallic (452)
* Savile Grey Pearl (492)
Despite its compact exterior dimensions, the Volvo V50 offers a spacious and flexible interior. Every passenger seat has a fold-flat backrest. With the seats folded down, the load compartment floor is entirely flat. In order to create even more space for luggage, the car's rear section has been extended by 46 mm compared with the Volvo S40 sedan model.
The interior is inspired by Scandinavian product design with the emphasis on uncluttered surfaces, honest materials and good function. The Volvo V50 (and Volvo S40) saw the introduction of Volvo's ultra-slim, free-floating centre console with illuminated storage compartment behind. The Volvo V50 and S40 were also launched with a specially developed upholstery material - T-Tec - that echoes ultra-modern sports clothes and travel goods.
The tunnel console and the armrest have been given a design matching the dashboard's floating centre console and with the same type of decor inserts. The aim has been to provide the highest possible feeling of quality while still increasing the flexibility and storage possibilities.
The space below the centre armrest is deep, long and wide and can house 10 CDs. The audio system AUX input is located here. In the armrest cover, there is extra storage space that can house mobile telephones, MP3 players or other odds and ends. The storage space in front of the armrest has room for two removable cup holders. The space is covered by an elegant black rubber roll-top.
Volvo Cars adopts a holistic view of safety that encompasses both preventive and protective safety. Preventive safety is closely linked to the car's driving properties. The body of the Volvo V50 features immense torsional rigidity and the car has a sturdy chassis, a combination that results in consistent, predictable behaviour on the road.
Volvo Cars has developed various information systems designed to help the driver while on the move. One such system is IDIS (Intelligent Driver Information System), which, for instance, delays incoming phone calls in complex traffic situations that require the driver's undivided attention.
The Active Bending headlamps have a swivelling function, making it possible for the headlamps to follow the curvatures of the road.
Protective safety in the Volvo V50 is structured around a network consisting of exterior and interior safety systems that interact with one another to reduce the risk of occupant injury in a collision. The exterior systems have the task of distributing and absorbing incoming collision forces so that the passenger compartment remains as intact and undamaged as possible. The body is therefore built in the form of a metal cage made of different grades of steel, where all the components interact with one another to ensure controlled deformation.
The interior safety systems aim to keep the passengers securely in place and also to reduce the risk of serious injury. In order to provide the most effective protection possible, Volvo Cars has developed a number of in-house systems, such as WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System), SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) and IC (Inflatable Curtain). All are fitted as standard in the Volvo V50. What is more, all five seats are equipped with three-point inertia-reel seat belts, belt pre-tensioners and head restraints. To attain the highest possible level of safety, all the car's occupants should always use their seat belts.
The Volvo V50 can be equipped with the HomeLink function. The function makes it possible to operate up to three remote controlled home devices (e.g., garage door, home alarm system, etc.) via a module integrated into the sun visor. HomeLink contributes to easy and safe access to your home.
Volvo V50 is available with an advanced function that helps reducing the risk of alcohol-related traffic accidents. This function, Alcoguard, is an immobiliser that helps the driver to make a decision whether to drive or not while influenced by alcohol. However, it is ultimately the driver's responsibility to make "sober" decisions in relation to the Alcoguard function's recommendations.
Driveline and handling
The engines in the Volvo V50 are transversely installed in-line units. A five-cylinder engine offers low vibration and smooth operation. Together with large displacement, the five-cylinder configuration provides high torque across a broad range of rpm, resulting in swift acceleration and excellent driveability within a wide speed range. Four-cylinder engines are available as an option.
The Volvo V50 T5 is the top model, featuring a turbocharger and five-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox.
The engine programme for the Volvo V50 is as follows:
*DRIVe engine in two versions - with or without a Start/Stop function
The T5 model is also available with electronically controlled All-Wheel Drive. The chassis, with spring struts at the front and Multilink axle at the rear, is set up for stable, reassuring driving manners and alert steering response. The Multilink rear axle is an independent rear suspension system featuring a number of links and it is designed to offer a good combination of controlled wheel movements and a high level of riding comfort. Some of these links have the task of providing a certain degree of anti-skid steering effect. A long wheelbase and wide track, together with a very torsionally rigid body, contribute to the predictable, controlled driving manners.
Volvo's advanced DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) stability-enhancing system is fitted as standard. DSTC intervenes and helps stabilise the car if it registers any tendency to skid.
In addition, a six-speed automatic Powershift gearbox is available for the Volvo V50 2.0 (petrol engine). Powershift provides lower fuel consumption (8% lower, in comparison with other automatic gearboxes) and improves drivability as well. Note that the combination of the 2.0-litre petrol engine and Powershift is not available in USA, Canada and Europe.
DRIVe, Volvo's environment concept focuses on lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, but extends over more than just these areas. DRIVe features a number of aerodynamic body parts (more information can be found in the "Design" section) and the chassis is lowered 10 mm. This means that Volvo V50 DRIVe fulfils the EU requirement of 120g/km, making it possible for the owner to, besides reducing CO2 emissions, benefit from tax reductions in a number of European countries. In addition, DRIVe has a gear-change indicator, informing the driver when to change gears - for a fuel-efficient driving style.
The V50 1.6D DRIVe falls into Volvo's 120g CO2 category (out of three different categories: 120g, 140g and 160g, depending on the car's size and other things).
For model year 2010, there is yet another version of V50 1.6D DRIVe available. It has a Start/Stop function, lowering fuel consumption to 3.9 l/100km and CO2 emissions levels to 104g/km. The engine delivers 109 horsepower and 240 Nm.
The Start/Stop function shuts off the engine when the car is standing still and the driver releases the clutch, and puts the gear lever into the neutral position. As soon as the driver presses the clutch again the engine is started. The Start/Stop function reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 4-5% (in mixed driving conditions). In urban traffic, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions can be reduced by up to 8%.
As the Start/Stop function is activated and the engine is turned off, some of the car's electronic systems are set into a standby level, for saving even more fuel. Thanks to a monitoring system (based on an additional, smaller battery supporting the larger battery), the systems can be reactivated if, for example, the temperature inside the car suddenly rises. In addition, the extra battery provides very quick and smooth start-up, among other things. The driver can turn off the Start/Stop function by a "DRIVe" button in the centre console.
A regenerative charge feature, using kinetic energy, comes with the Start/Stop function in the Volvo V50 1.6D DRIVe model. In short, this charging function makes it possible to charge the battery without using diesel and engine power. The charging begins when the driver releases the accelerator or the brake pedal (if a gear is engaged).
The V50 DRIVe 1.6D without the Start/Stop function, launched in 2008, is still available. The engine's CO2 emission level is 119 g/km.
The 4-cylinder engine family can be supplemented with a fuel-operated engine heater. The heater will be available for the 1.8 and 2.0 petrol engines but not for the 1.8F Flexifuel engine.
The Volvo V50 is designed and equipped to have as little impact as possible on the global environment, and to offer a clean and healthy interior climate.
Volvo's IAQS (Interior Air Quality System) effectively reduces the amount of particles, pollen, gases and certain unpleasant odours in the air entering the cabin. In addition, all textiles and leather are certified under ÖKO-TEX 100. This is an international standard, which ensures that fabrics and hides have been thoroughly tested to check for certain allergy-inducing substances and emissions.
Audio and information
Volvo V50 can be equipped with Bluetooth® - a technology that enables wireless communication. By connecting Volvo's Bluetooth device to the car's audio system and a Bluetooth compatible cellular telephone, easy and practical hands-free phoning is made possible.
Volvo V50 with the High Performance or Premium Sound systems have an USB port, making it easy to attach an iPod®, or other MP3 players or even a digital camera to the audio system. On the USA market, the High Performance and Premium Sound levels have an HD (digital) radio function as standard. With the HD radio function, the driver and passengers can listen to analogue FM radio channels, although with digital quality. In some European countries the Premium Sound and High Performance audio systems can be supplemented with DAB-radio (Digital Audio Broadcast). This function makes it possible listening to radio broadcasts with CD quality.
The RTI function (optional) in the Volvo V50 models is able to register speed cameras.