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Irvine, CA (July 27, 2004) – The crunch of steel and shattering glass can be one of the most horrific memories of an automobile accident. Unless, of course, the accident isn't really an accident; but instead a highly structured test being conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That was exactly the case recently when NHTSA completed its side impact protection test of the all-new Volvo S40 sport sedan.


The results: 5 stars for the driver; 5 stars for the passenger. The highest rating the U.S. Government organization grants to passenger vehicles.


"With these latest crash test results, and the fact that sales of the all-new S40 are up 29.2 percent from last year, we are proving that safety and style can go hand-in-hand!" commented Vic Doolan, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, LLC. "The new S40 is doing exactly as we intended. It's bringing new, younger buyers, into our dealerships, but it's doing so in the Volvo way, with passenger safety as our number-one concern." Noting the new Volvo S40's robust structure, Doolan continued, "Side impact crashes can be devastating, but the new S40 was designed from the outset to help protect its passengers in the event of just such a collision."


It's all part of Volvo's Intelligent Vehicle Architecture (VIVA), a unique approach to building a car that integrates everything from its crashworthiness, to its dynamic styling and exciting driving characteristics. The safety systems were developed and tested in the Volvo Cars Safety Center, the most advanced facility of its kind in the world. About forty full-scale tests were performed to help ensure that all the on-board components interact correctly in the event of a collision. When it comes to side impact protection, the all-new Volvo S40 is 1.9 inches wider than its predecessor. This creates added space for deformation in a collision. In other respects, the Volvo S40 has the same type of side impact protection as found on the Volvo S60 and Volvo S80, both of which also received double 5-star side impact protection ratings from NHTSA.


SIPS (Side Impact Protection System), a standard safety system on all Volvo cars, includes side-impact airbags and inflatable curtains. The side airbags are larger than in the previous S40 model to provide more effective protection at the hips and chest.


Several other features contribute to the stiffer body and help prevent the side from deforming in a collision:

  • The reinforced, transversely installed tubular beam between the A-pillars
  • The diagonally installed beams of Ultra High Strength Steel in the doors
  • The B-pillars, which have been significantly reinforced and are dimensioned to help provide enhanced protection.


The NHTSA results are just the most recent safety accolades the new Volvo S40 has received. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the new Volvo S40 a "Good, Best Pick" in its 40-mph offset frontal collision test and Euro-NCAP, the organizing body of collision protection testing in Europe also rated the S40 with 5 stars, it's highest rating.


For additional information on NHTSA's safety tests and vehicle ratings, please refer to


The sales success of Volvo's newest sport sedan can most likely be attributed to its appealing pricing. The new 2005 S40 carries a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $23,945 for the normally aspirated front-wheel-drive 2.4i, and $26,745 for the front-wheel-drive turbocharged T5. On sale now, the 168-horsepower 2.4i is available with a 5-speed "Geartronic" automatic transmission while the 218-horsepower T5 is offered with a choice of either a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission or the automatic gearbox and, new for 2005, electronically controlled all-wheel drive.


Aside from the new S40, the 2004-2005 Volvo automobile line includes the all-new V50 sportswagon, award-winning XC90, sporty S60 sedan, the redesigned S80 luxury sedan, versatile V70 wagon and rugged Cross Country, and the beautiful C70 convertible.


VCNA provides marketing, sales, service, technology and training to Volvo automobile retailers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. For more information on the entire Volvo product line please refer to the Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, public relations website at:


James Hope or Daniel Johnston

Product Communications

Volvo Cars of North America, LLC

(800) 977-0888

S40, Safety, Technology, 2005
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