Press Releases

2004.5 Volvo S40 Interior Design




  • Volvo Intelligent Vehicle Architecture (VIVA), inside and out
  • Crisp, fast lines
  • Revolutionary interior design
  • Innovative upholstery inspired by sportswear accessories
  • Shorter, but wider and taller than its predecessor
  • Short hood and aggressive cab-forward design
  • Aggressive profile creates an athletic impression

"Ready for take-off! The all-new Volvo S40 is designed to express power and performance!"


These are the words of Henrik Otto, Volvo Car's Design Director. He emphasizes the crisp, sporty lines of Volvo's new sport sedan. It is a stunning four-door sedan with a dynamic design and premium-car feel.


Henrik Otto 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.


Volvo Intelligent Vehicle Architecture (VIVA), from the inside out


Exterior evolution - interior revolution


The exterior is an evolution of Volvo Car's modern body design, while the interior is something of a revolution.


The interior is built up of several visual layers. The first layer shows as an edge trimming around the entire interior, along the side windows and the windscreen. The impression is of being safely ensconced in a cocoon.


The next layer is the instrument panel. It has a clean, uncluttered layout, with air vents and other details positioned as islands in an otherwise free area. The instrument panel has a new type of surface, a texture conveying a feel of cutting-edge technical innovation rather than classic leather-trimmed furniture. This special surface texture separates the instrument panel visually from the cabin's outer edge trim.


The instrument cluster features two round gauges, surrounded by contrasting metal bezels. This design gives a sporty, three-dimensional impression.


Distinctly Scandinavian interior


The most distinctive new feature in the passenger compartment is the unique, super-slim center stack that elegantly links the console with the instrument panel. The center stack constitutes the interior's topmost layer. It is further described in a separate press release.


There is another console in the roof, echoing the center stack and continuing the theme of the car's central nervous system.


T-Tec upholstery


The interior is available in a choice of three shades: dark gray, lava gray and dark beige. Each interior color is available together with a range of matching upholstery colors.


Leather is one of four upholstery alternatives. The most innovative upholstery is Dala, a ribbed textile with T-Tec elements and visible light-colored seams.


T-Tec is a material specially developed for Volvo and inspired by sportswear and modern travel accessories. The contrast between T-Tec and textile - along with seams in a different color - reinforces the car's dynamic appeal.


Fold-down backrests


The cab-forward design, the long wheelbase and Volvo's Intelligent Vehicle Architecture (VIVA) of transverse engine installation combine to give the new Volvo S40 a spacious cabin.


The cabin can be rearranged in the same flexible manner as in the other Volvo models. The rear seat splits into two sections and the backrests fold down. The front passenger seat comes standard with a fold-flat backrest. With all of the seats folded, the load floor is entirely flat.


A comet on the move


The all-new Volvo S40 is shorter, but at the same time wider and taller, than its predecessor, creating more interior space. The bonnet is short and there is a pronounced cab-forward profile. This eager stance, as though the car is surging ahead, creates a sensation of speed even at a standstill. At the same time it creates additional space for a long passenger cabin and generous rear-seat legroom.


"Anyone looking at the new Volvo S40 from the side gets the impression of a comet on the move. The gently rounded nose, the sweeping lines and the abrupt tail generate a vibrant sensation of speed," comments Henrik Otto.


The track and wheelbase have been extended, the front and rear overhangs reduced, virtually putting a wheel at each corner. This contributes to the sporty appearance and gives the car stable on-the-road behavior. The long wheelbase also makes it possible to fit conveniently wide rear doors.


Streamlined shape


Viewed from above, the body resembles the shape of a streamlined speedboat hull, with a rounded prow, a broad mid-ship section and a narrowing stern. Together with the broad shoulders, this hull shape forges an athletic impression, and contributes to the car's excellent aerodynamics.


The doors of the all-new Volvo S40 are convex in profile, unlike the concave shape of the doors on other Volvo models. This convex curvature reinforces the athletic appearance and enhances the cabin's width.


The windshield wipers are concealed under the trailing edge of the bonnet. There are turn signals integrated into the door mirrors, easily visible from the sides.


In order to further emphasize the sporty nature of the Volvo S40, the car can be equipped with a design package consisting of more pronounced sill moldings and spoilers.


A number of newly designed aluminum wheels are available on the options list, including an 18-inch wheel/tire combination.


Genuine Volvo identity


The all-new Volvo S40 has a profile of its own - yet maintains a clear family resemblance.


The grille, with its familiar diagonal crossmember, has a horizontal mesh pattern in a dark-gray metallic color, echoing the Volvo S60 and S80. The hood has the traditional V-shape. The body's contour lines - the classic Volvo "shoulders" along either side of the body - are also inherited from the rest of the Volvo family.


Those broad shoulders are a modern Volvo feature that signal power and safety. From the rear, the distinctive tail lamps show with the utmost clarity that what lies ahead is a Volvo.


A brief comparison

The new Volvo S40 is shorter than its predecessor, but it is larger in every other respect:

Length: 175.9 inches (1.9 inches shorter than the previous S40 model)

Width: 69.6 inches (2.1 inches wider)

Height: 57.2 inches (1.7 inches taller)

Wheelbase: 103.9 inches (3.1 inches longer)

Front Track: 60.4 inches (2.5 inches wider)

Rear Track: 60.3 inches (2.2 inches wider)

S40, Interior, Special Interests, 2004.5, 2005
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