In August 1974, Volvo presented a new generation of cars called the 240 and 260 Series.
These new models had been developed from the 140 series and were very similar to their predecessors, and 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 engine series with single overhead camshaft was introduced. The previous B20 4-cylinder was still offered in basic versions for some time.
Two-door cars were still very much in demand, particularly on the Nordic markets, and it was therefore only natural to include a 2-door in the programme. However, as the trend was moving towards 4-door cars, the 242 was taken out of production long before the 244 and 245.
Over the years, the Volvo 242 was produced with many different engines and gearboxes.
The most interesting versions were the 242GT of the late 1970s and the 240 Turbo of the 1980s marketed in North America. Both cars offered spectacular performance and answering in full to the classical proverb 'a wolf in sheep's clothing'. The same goes for the 242 racing car which won the European Touring Car Championship in 1985.
For model year 1983, the emblem at the rear of all 240 models was changed. No longer did it say 242, 244 or 245. The badge just said 240, as part of a new designation strategy. In reality, however, most people continued to refer to their cars as a 244 or 245. Nevertheless, this change did not mean any large-scale modification to the cars.
Variants: 242 GT
Body: 2-door saloon
Engine: 4-cylinder, in-line OHV, 4-cylinder, in-line SOHC, 4-cylinder, in-line SOHC with turbocharging.
Transmission: 4-speed manual or 4-speed with el. overdrive, with floor-mounted gear lever. 3-speed automatic.
Brakes: Hydraulic, disc brakes on all four wheels.
Dimensions: Overall length 490 cm, wheelbase 264 cm.
Misc: In 1985, the Volvo 242 won the European Touring Car Championship.