Heading materials prepared by Mikhail GZOVSKY


Volvo S40, V40

The five-door station wagon V40 and the four-door sedan S40 appeared at Volvo in 1995 with the help of Japanese colleagues: Volvo created the middle-class cars on the basis of Mitsubishi Karisma. Not even two years after the start of their production, and the Swedes were already engaged in updating the cars of the fortieth series: as part of the modernization, they passed lengthy tests of prototypes on three continents. Pre-production samples dashed along the roads of North America, Europe and Australia with a total of 2.5 million km. And finally, last summer, the updated family went on sale.

If you are not one of Volvo’s ardent admirers, it will be difficult to immediately distinguish updated cars from previous ones. As it turned out, this was done intentionally. “The V40 and S40 have always been highly regarded for their design, ” said Peter Horbury, project lead designer. - Therefore, we decided not to change the appearance of the machines in a radical way, but only refreshed it and achieved similarities with the “older” models of the company. ” Indeed, taking a closer look, you notice “weighty” bumpers, modified wings, giving the cars a more “muscular” look. When viewed from the side, the new S40 and V40 are distinguished by other moldings and rims, and the “stern” is decorated with modified lights. There are also few differences in the cabin: a modified instrument panel and console. Upholstery of new colors does not count.

Well, in the subject of passive safety, the Volvans feel very confident. Back in 1997, during the EuroNCAP crash tests, the fortieth family was the best among forty competitors and the only one received the highest rating. Now the cars are even safer: they are equipped with adaptive airbags along with the WHIPS system, which insures passengers when hitting rear passengers. The so-called inflatable curtains, which protect against injuries in a lateral collision, a device for fixing ISOFIX child seats, are also installed in series.

Sufficiently deep modernization also affected the engines and the chassis, which, incidentally, had a beneficial effect on comfort - the noise of the engine and tires was hardly audible in the passenger compartment. Changed suspension geometry, other front struts and levers are better suited for movement on poor surfaces.