The concept of dynamic design, premium quality, and prioritizing safety, the Volvo S40 is a cool sedan that confirms its unique identity in the ever-growing premium compact class.
The Volvo S40 is available with a variety of optional trim levels S, SE, Lux SE, R-DESIGN Sport, and R-DESIGN SE Sport, with engines ranging from 1.6 liters of gasoline and diesel to high performance five cylinders, 2.5 liters T5, and includes three new options for 2007: 2.0 liter, 145 PS, four cylinder gasoline, 2.4 liter, 180 PS, five cylinder D5 turbodiesel and 1.8 Flexifuel engine that is environmentally friendly.
The S40 sedan was produced at the Volvo Ghent factory in Belgium, and since arriving in the UK showroom in early 2004, it has become one of the most popular Volvo models in the UK – the second best-selling model in the 2007 range (1st V50, 3 XC90) – with 4,688 cars sold, while globally Volvo sold a total of 63,062 S40 in 2007.
Review the S40 design concept
The S40 is a reward for the talented and multi-cultural Volvo design team in Gothenburg, Barcelona and California, who have captured the premium values of the contemporary Volvo sedan in a compact package. This is a dramatic and dynamic form that confirms its own identity but remains every inch as the original Volvo.
The exterior design of the Volvo S40 can be described as evolutionary. It draws its inspiration from the larger, award-winning Volvo S60 and S80 salvo, and from the value of classic Scandinavian designs about elegance and simplicity. Volvo badges in the middle of a protruding diagonal above the grid are features of every Volvo, as are strong ‘shoulders’ that increase the feeling of being strong and safe. The unique carved taillights cluster seamlessly joins the bodywork and is instantly recognized as Volvo.
But for all its familiarity, the Volvo S40 also managed to assert its different personality. Viewed from above, the body resembles the shape of a hull, with a round bow, a broad midship section and a narrowed stern. Together with wide shoulders, this ‘hull shape’ promotes the impression of strength and dynamism and contributes to the extraordinary aerodynamics of the Volvo S40: the drag coefficient is Cd 0.31. Unlike in the Volvo range, the door is convex rather than concave, which maximizes the width of the cabin while emphasizing the attractiveness of a compact shape.
The latest S40 sedan is 48mm shorter than the original, but 54mm wider and 44mm taller. Wheelbase, meanwhile, is 78mm stronger, in the interests of driving dynamics and passenger accommodation. The latter is also enhanced by a cabin-advanced profile, which requires a short hood and some smart mechanical packaging.
Continuously maximizing passenger accommodation, the Volvo S40’s profile also serves to highlight the dynamics of the car’s natural sports.
Customers who want to emphasize the sports credentials of their Volvo S40 are offered unique exterior Sports style accessories – installed as standard for the R-DESIGN Sport model and the R-DESIGN SE Sport. This smartly integrated bodykit includes front and rear spoilers, side skirts and boot-lid spoilers, all of which are painted to the color of the car.
Reviewing the machine used
The Volvo S40 is available with a variety of high-tech engines that reflect its role as a premium alternative. Three new engines joined in the 2007 range: 145 PS 2.0 liter gasoline, five cylinder 180 PS D5 turbodiesel and 125 PS 1.8 Flexifuel engine. Lining next to it is a five-cylinder gasoline engine – the T5 – which offers an unmatched combination of power and refinement. Then there is a gasoline engine and 1.6-liter diesel, 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, plus a 136 liter 2.0 PS turbodiesel that offers second generation common-rail technology for maximum refinement and a low emission economy. All diesel engines are in accordance with Euro IV.
2.0 and D5
The 145PS gasoline engine, four-cylinder, 2.0-liter with manual transmission and 2.4-liter, 180PS, five-cylinder D5 turbodiesel merged with the Volvo S40 lineup in 2007.
The 2.0-liter gasoline produces smooth performance (0-60 mph in 8.9 seconds) along with respectable fuel savings (combined figure of 38.2 mpg) and CO2 emissions of 176g / km.
The D5 is familiar with its use in the Volvo S60, S80 and the rest of the Volvo range (a slight decrease in power here is a result of limited cooling capacity permitted by the smaller front area of the Volvo S40). Available in the SE, Lux SE, R-DESIGN Sport, and R-DESIGN SE Sport versions, it comes with a six-speed manual gearbox and provides amazing performance with 180 PS, 350 Nm of torque, 0-60mph of torque allows in 7.5 seconds , emissions of 164 g / km and a maximum of 57.6 mpg in the extra-urban cycle. Geartronic transmission is also available as an option.
The five-cylinder gasoline power plant is based on the low friction unit found in the larger Volvo salvo, but is revised and extensively repackaged for installation on the Volvo S40. The latest generation is called RNC, with ‘C’ indicating ‘Compact’.
The T5 has a manual transmission as standard, however, Geartronic is available as an option. This engine offers four valves per cylinder and double overhead camshafts, along with CVVT (Continuously Variable Valve Timing) to maximize torque at low engine speeds and to reduce exhaust emissions.
The superior performance of the Volvo S40 range is the T5 2521cc. This produces 230 PS at 5,000 rpm. The 320 Nm peak torque output is available all the way from 1500-5000 rpm, proving that top-end thrust does not need to be achieved at the expense of medium range flexibility. The manual T5 can go from 0-60 mph in just 6.3 seconds and will reach 149 mph. But despite its high performance, it still reaches 32.5 mpg which is very good in the combined cycle.
1.6 and 1.8
The choice of a gasoline engine for the S40 includes a 1.6-liter four-cylinder and 1.8-liter gasoline unit. Both offer good performance and economy – and value for money. 1.6 provides 100PS and 150Nm of torque, 0-60mph in 11.3 seconds, 169 g / km emissions and 39.8mpg in the combined cycle.
The larger 1.8 liter offers 125 PS and 165 Nm of torque, 0-60mph in 10.3 seconds, emissions of 174 g / km and also reaches 38.7 mpg in the combined cycle.
1.6D and 2.0D
Lining up next to the new flagship diesel engine, the D5, is a 1.6 and 2.0 liter turbodiesel engine, which offers performance and economy. Developed in conjunction with Ford Motor Company and PSA Peugeot Citroën, they feature second generation common-rail technology, providing an unbeatable combination of power, refinement and frugality. The smaller 1.6-liter turbodiesel also offers strong and flexible performance, with 109 PS and a lot of flexibility provided by 240 Nm of torque from 1,750 rpm. It offers the best fuel consumption of the range, with 67.3 mpg recorded in the extra-urban cycle, 57.6 mpg in combined and 45.6 mpg in urban areas. The 2.0D six-speed manual has a maximum power output of 136PS and a peak torque of 320Nm only at 2000 rpm; this includes an increase of 0-60 mph in 8.9 seconds and can reach 127mph.
But while 2.0D acceleration is like gasoline, the economy underlines the value of diesel power. The 2.0D corresponding to Euro IV produces an excellent average of 48.7mpg in the combined cycle and a maximum of 58.9mpg in extra-urban, and carbon dioxide emissions are 153 g / km. This is not only good news for the environment, but also gives the driver a useful tax-saving car tax. Volvo Powershift transmission was introduced as an option at 2.0D in early 2008, this six-speed unit has twin wet clutches to provide convenient gear changes from fully automatic transmissions with manual gearbox performance.
The third machine to join the ranks in 2007 was 1.8 Flexifuel. Strengthening Volvo’s longstanding commitment to environmental care, this engine uses renewable E85 bioethanol fuel, an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional fuel, emitting up to 80% less carbon dioxide emissions than gasoline. Choosing the Volvo S40 Flexifuel can help reduce fossil carbon dioxide emissions without sacrificing performance or comfort. Based on the 1.8-liter, four-cylinder normal aspiration engine produces 125 PS, 1.8F runs on E85, fuel consisting of 85% bioethanol and 15% ordinary gasoline. If the E85 is not available, the vehicle can also use unleaded gasoline – both fuels can enter the same tank in any mixture that offers total flexibility. The car engine management system monitors the mixture and automatically modifies the injection and ignition times to optimize performance.
Reviewing the Chassis concept applied
The Volvo S40 combines a dynamic and exciting driving experience with a high level of active safety, thanks to a sophisticated suspension system, high torsional rigidity, wide lines and the latest electronic stability system.
The Volvo S40’s body is currently 68 percent stiffer than the original thanks to its sophisticated body design and the use of high-strength materials, including Ultra High Strength Boron Steel. This high degree of torsional rigidity allows the suspension to do its job well and the conditions are an integral part of the Volvo S40 design. This not only benefits the driving and handling characteristics, but also its feasibility.
Further contributions to the outstanding stability of the Volvo S40 are provided by wide tracks (1535mm front, 1531mm rear) and long wheelbase (2640mm). The first helps improve the balance of the car, allowing it to overcome high cornering strength, while providing clear and consistent feedback to the driver. Meanwhile, the long wheelbase contributes to a balanced weight distribution with a low minimum moment of inertia. In practical terms, this improves steering response and helps ensure that the Volvo S40 responds in a controlled and predictable manner in all circumstances, contributing greatly to active safety.
A sophisticated and independent suspension system uses spring struts on the front, carefully calculated geometry to provide a fast and precise steering response, enhancing the sporting appeal of the car. The rear suspension is a sophisticated multi-link system. This allows a small level of passive rear wheel steering when cornering, which helps maximize stability and control. Anti roll blades also appear at both ends.
DSTC, EBD and EBA
The mechanical settings sharpening the Volvo S40 are supported by the DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) system, which is standard on every model. This prevents the wheelpin or the risk of slipping with braking wheels that lose traction (up to 25 mph) or, at speeds above 25 mph, by reducing engine power and using additional sensors to detect slippage. The system then automatically slows the appropriate wheel to restore control. This ensures that the driven wheels get exactly the same power as can be transferred to the road.
All Volvo S40s benefit from ABS brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and EBA (Emergency Brake Assist) that feel the emergency stop and automatically make the car stop in the shortest possible distance.
Driving Dynamics: Steering, Brakes and Transmission
The Volvo S40 uses an electro-hydraulic power steering system that has been developed to optimize driver feedback and response. This helps the driver to place the car accurately on the road and assess the available grip.
Ventilated disc brakes are installed on the front. The disk size is adjusted by engine power and wheel rim size, up to 16in diameter (16.5in for D5). As you would expect from Volvo, the anti-lock braking system is installed as standard and this is put together by EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution), which continuously distributes braking power between the front and rear wheels to ensure maximum retardation regardless of road conditions or how the car loaded.
Each Volvo S40 is also equipped with EBA (Emergency Brake Assist). This system automatically senses when an emergency stop is needed and adjusts the braking pressure so the car stops at the shortest distance possible.
The 1.6, 1.8, 2.0 liter, and 1.8F gasoline engines and 1.8F are mated to the latest generation of Volvo five-speed manual gearboxes, which have triple synchromesh to provide faster and more positive changes.
The T5 engine uses a six-speed manual gearbox developed for the high-performance Volvo S60 R and V70 R. These ratios have been carefully adjusted to engine characteristics so that they can combine strong acceleration with high high speed. Gearbox has a triple synchromesh and convincing direct gearshift.
The Volvo S40 2.0D is equipped with a six-speed manual (though not the same as the one installed on T5). The ratio has been chosen to complement the 320 Nm diesel torque and to provide easy pull across the entire engine range. The 2.0D S40 is also available with the new Volvo Powershift transmission introduced as an option in early 2008, this six-speed unit has twin wet clutches to provide the convenience of automatic automatic transmission gear changes with manual performance. gearbox.
Operating as two manual parallel gearboxes, Powershift has twin wet couplings that work independently of each other. One clutch controls odd teeth (1, 3, 5 and backwards) while the other handles even ratios (2, 4 and 6). Both grips operate alternately with one pulling while the other releases, like a slip clutch. This means that at the same time when the engine gets full power and maximum thrust in the first gear, the second gear is placed ready to be activated. And when the second gear has been activated, the third gear is prepared, and so on. This provides continuous power flow without interruption in power transmission or loss of torque. This results in very fast and smooth gear changes while maintaining acceleration that allows 0-60mph to be achieved in 9.1 seconds and offers a top speed of 127mph.
Apart from the convenience of gear changes and high performance, Powershift also contributes to producing improved fuel efficiency. Powershift Automatic offers a combined fuel consumption of 47.1mpg and an impressive 159 g / km CO2 figure on the Volvo S40.
Powershift gives the driver an automatic transmission that allows sequential search, as is the case with Volvo Geartronic transmissions. The difference is that with Powershift even manual searches occur without losing time or power. Also, unlike conventional automatic transmissions, the Powershift does not require a torque converter, planetary gears, or some wet couplings, nor are there additional torque losses brought by these features.
The D5 turbodiesel comes as standard with a six-speed manual, with Volvo five-speed Geartronic transmission available as an option. The Geartronic system is fully adaptive – automatically adjusts the shift pattern according to the individual driving style and can be changed to ‘manual’ mode if needed. Geartronic is also available as a flagship option on the T5.
While the exterior of the Volvo S40 can be described as an evolution of the S60 and S80, the interior is nothing more than a revolution in car design. The focal point is a stack of ultra-thin central instruments, which appear to be free floating. It is the first in the world for the automotive sector and previewed at Volvo VCC (Versatility Concept Car) at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show. This is a reflection of the Volvo Scandinavian design heritage and its commitment to premium quality.
Inspiration for the interior comes from outside the car world. “If you want to be innovative, there’s no point in seeing what your competitors are doing,” explained Steve Mattin, Volvo’s Director of Design. “It’s much more valuable to see what they don’t do.”
The Volvo design team was instead influenced by the Scandinavian design tradition for clean surfaces and uncluttered lines. They got inspiration, for example, from the elegant simplicity of the printed Series 7 seats, designed by the world-famous Arne Jacobsen.
The trend of high-tech electrical equipment, such as cameras, audio systems and computers, was also studied. Notes are taken about how designers use and combine new materials so that they form part of the user experience. These different influences – classic Scandinavian styles and high-tech innovations – are combined to create very different interior concepts.
The interior is built from several visual layers. The first is the edge that flows around the base of the windshield and along the door frame, cutting the entire interior. This gives the inhabitants the impression that they are protected in a cocoon.
The second layer is the primary fascia, which is minimalist. Air vents and secondary controls are positioned on each island, while the main instruments are grouped in two round gauges, surrounded by a contrasting metal bezel. Choice of fascia settlement is also important – Volvo has avoided the appearance of traditional skin for the sake of new textures that present cutting-edge technical innovations.
The ultra-thin central instrument stack forms the topmost layer. Offering a prominent position in the center of the car, this car fulfills the role of a remote control unit in a contemporary home entertainment system. Building such novel features is not an easy task: “It takes ingenuity and hard work enough to find a technical solution for this super-slim format,” Burgoyne explained. But no one will doubt that his hard work has paid off. The sleek design creates a feeling of luxury space and the effect is enhanced by the ‘theater style’ lighting, which quietly draws attention to the unit.
The middle stack has bauxite gray metal layers on the S model, aluminum in the SE model, while the SE LUX model has Nordic Light Oak Trim. R-DESIGN Sport and R-DESIGN SE Sport have a unique R-DESIGN Deco Aluminum.
Comfort and convenience
While the Volvo S40’s interior emphasizes style, shapes have not been given priority over functions. Ergonomic fascia has been carefully designed and the driver will find that the controls are positioned reasonably and are easily accessible. The multi-adjustable driver seat and adjustable steering wheel for rake and range, ensure that drivers of all shapes and sizes can feel comfortable.
The development of ultra-thin technology allows Volvo designers to introduce a useful storage area behind the center stack, which can be accessed from both front seats.
There is also plenty of space for passengers. The benefits and convenience of a four-door bodyshell in a class dominated by alternative three or five doors should not be underestimated. With a width of 1770mm (without wing mirrors) and a height of 1454mm, with a wheelbase of 2640mm, the Volvo S40 offers exceptional interior space. Five residents can travel comfortably and all the benefits of head restraints and a full three-point seat belt system. The rear seat belt reminder system automatically warns the driver via a message on the instrument panel if a rear passenger is not wearing a seat belt.
With the rear seat installed, the boot capacity is 404 liters (325 liters at D5). If needed, luggage space can also be extended. The rear seat is divided into two parts and the backrest folds forward to leave the payload floor fully flat. The Volvo S40 has a flat front passenger seat, which allows loads up to 3.02m long to carry.
Quality and Equipment
The passion for high quality lies at the heart of the Volvo brand. This not only adheres to the quality of the build that reflects Volvo’s famous roughness, durability and reliability, but also in the selection of body material and trim. From a pile of beautiful free-floating central instruments to secret ‘theater lighting’, the Volvo S40 exudes a feeling of quality and well-being. This switchgear has a thick and dense feel and fascia wrapped in soft plastic, reminding residents that they are enjoying premium products.
Customers in the premium sector do not compromise. Even though they are happy to choose a smaller overall package, they continue to expect high-level standard equipment. Naturally, the specifications for the Volvo S40 don’t disappoint, especially when compared to some other premium brands. The specifications of each model include IDIS (Smart Driver Information System), alloy wheels, leather steering wheels, gear levers and hand brake levers, Electronic Climate Control, Air Quality Systems (AQS), Sound Performance audio systems with CDs, electric windows and (heating) ) mirrors, DSTC and all Volvo safety features.
R-DESIGN SE Sport combines all the luxury features of SE with unique R-DESIGN interior details and a dramatic exterior bodykit and 18in alloy wheels.
Changes to specifications on the 2008 model are extensive including profiled noses and chrome-framed ‘egg-crate’ grille, complete with a Volvo badge 50 percent larger. This unique front is flanked by a new clear lens headlamp unit, while the striking wide air intakes, combining reworked integral fog lights and the middle mesh section, replace the previous three-part air intake unit.
At the rear, the new S40 tail light unit – equipped with LED light-emitting diode brake lights – is now smaller, with new graphics, and sits 30mm higher than before. The new bumper and revised boot handle design and a more sporty exhaust pipe layout complement the visual changes.
The cabin also benefits from comprehensive revisions to add more storage space and bring versatility. The iconic ‘floating’ center stack has revised the controls and is equipped with a multi-functional central tunnel storage area, a more compact handbrake design, and a longer revised armrest further ahead for greater comfort. It can also flip 180 degrees to act as a useful table for rear passengers. In addition to the redesigned cup holder, there is now a much larger storage area under the armrest, while the bottom of the front door inside the panel has been redesigned to accommodate larger items.
The 2009 model shows the exterior emblem on the boot lid enlarges, with the distance between letters to ensure that the Volvo brand is easier to recognize from a distance.
Each S40 displays IDIS (Smart Driver Information System). First of all a motorcycle industry, IDIS uses technology that comes from fighter aircraft. The IDIS function continuously analyzes driver activity by monitoring steering movements, accelerator pedal positions, indicator functions, and so on. This information is then processed and each moment is given an activity level.
Under certain circumstances the driver can make phone calls, read text messages (not while driving) and receive traffic information. But when road conditions require full concentration – such as when they are braking, overtaking or maneuvering – all insignificant signals from the telephone and peripheral systems are held up until the incident passes. IDIS was previously programmed to accommodate information and telematics communication systems in the future. The more infotainment functions the car has, the greater the benefits of IDIS.
A sophisticated electronic network that allows IDIS to also allow owners to personalize their vehicles. For example, the Volvo S40 central locking system can be programmed through the menu options in the middle stack to offer the following options:
Unlock the door – all doors or just the driver’s door.
Automatic door locking after driving to increase personal security, if needed.
Flashing indicator when locking or unlocking – with the option to cancel.
Safe and Approachable Home Lighting with intervals of 30, 60 or 90 seconds.
This system also allows settings for the audio system to be adjusted – news and traffic alerts can be selected, for example.
Customers can choose from a variety of additional options, and some are grouped together to offer better value, such as the Winter, Family and Communication package:
Winter Package: Heated front seats, headlamp cleaning system, plush mats Family Package: Integrated x 2 reinforcement cushion, strong child lock and sun curtain (rear rack) and Passenger Airbag Cutting Switch Communication Package: RTI Navigation System with RDS-TMC and Map Data on the hard disk, Keyless Drive, Bluetooth Handsfree System
Hi-fi fans can upgrade to the Sound Premium system with Dolby Pro Logic II Surround SoundTM from the type introduced on the Volvo XC90. This includes 1xCD, FM and AM radios, 5x130w amplifiers, and no less than 12 speakers, as well as MP3 / WMA compatibility and additional input jacks to allow customers to connect personal MP3 players.
Volvo employs its own audio development team, rather than relying on outside suppliers, to ensure the audio system is adjusted to suit the acoustic properties of each model. As a result, all components are tuned to produce the best surround sound anywhere in the car. Even rear occupants can hear surround sound sensations throughout the music frequency range.
The Dolby Pro Logic II system produces five unique sound channels. Listening to Surround Sound from the Premium Sound audio system is designed to be like sitting in the best chair in front of a direct orchestra – you feel you really are there.
More and more customers will be interested in RTI Satellite Navigation with RDS-TMC (Traffic Message Channel) which is pre-warned about traffic arrest and incidents on the way, and can change the driver’s route, if needed. For the Model 2009 Year, the RTI system gets refreshments including a new driver interface, new colors and more premium shades for menus and symbols.
This system uses a large, eye-level and remotely controlled color screen that can display route information for all of Europe. This draws to the top of the fascia when not in use and can be controlled using a joystick-style switch on the rear of the wheel, or by a passenger with a remote control unit.
Already available are integrated and bespoke telephone systems, such as Volvo On Call, a sophisticated telematics system.
Volvo On Call – sophisticated telematics
Volvo On Call is a valuable personal safety feature using a sophisticated telematics system. This system uses an integrated GSM phone with a built-in GPS unit for satellite positioning and ensures assistance is always close.
Volvo On Call – safety package
Volvo On Call is equipped with a safety package. If a pre-suppressed airbag or seat belt is triggered in the event of an accident, Volvo On Call automatically calls Emergency Services via BT999 and can also provide your location data. Or, pressing the red ‘SOS’ button on an integrated GSM phone will direct you directly to Emergency Services.
Also, if the car breaks down or you need help, pressing the Volvo On Call button will direct you directly to the Volvo On Call operator, who is only one call at a time to offer personal services such as route guidance, or to guide roadside assistance for you.
Volvo On Call – security package
The optional Volvo On Call security package offers additional benefits from remote door unlock facilities, theft notifications and vehicle tracking. In the future, Volvo On Call services can include contacting your local dealer automatically when service is needed.
As you would expect, the Volvo S40 sedan is backed by a comprehensive warranty. The standard mechanical guarantee is three years / 60,000 miles (whichever comes first), plus there is a limitless three-year warranty on paint and 12 years of protection against rust perforations. In addition, all Volvo are protected by free RAC protection for one year, which provides full damage and recovery assistance, anywhere in Europe, 24 hours a day.
Volvo also offers competitive Volvo Owners insurance with special protection, while Volvo Car Finance can make new S40 at affordable prices.
Volvo’s commitment to safety is as old as the company itself. As Assar Gabrielsson, one of the founders of Volvo, stated: “Cars are driven by people. The guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo, therefore, is – and must be – safe.” The safety targets of engineers for the Volvo S40 are very simple and challenging: to replicate the high level of safety offered by the much larger Volvo S80.
The Volvo S40’s structure has been divided into several different zones, and various levels of steel are used in each area. The outer zone is responsible for most deformations, while the one closest to the passenger compartment is designed so that most remain intact, protecting passengers. The zone system is one of the many Volvo patented safety designs:
Low speed deformation zone – The front bumper is equipped with a pair of rigid Boron steel (Ultra High Strength Steel). This section takes the form of a ‘collision box’ that can absorb low-speed collision forces without damaging the rest of the body structure. The jam box can then be replaced individually, reducing repair costs.
High speed deformation zone – The straight part of the side member is made of High Strength Steel, which is optimized for high energy absorption. The addition of upper-side members provides significant protection if the vehicle collides, for example by truck. This zone accounts for most of the deformation in collisions.
Backup zone – The part around the A-pillar acts as a barrier for the passenger compartment. Made of extra high strength steel, this structure is very rigid and also helps prevent the front wheels from penetrating the cabin.
Three-way attachment – Rigid cross-member connects the A pillar and lower side members. On each side they form a rigid three-way attachment, which helps maintain cabin integrity in severe accidents.
The Volvo S40 high-tech engine also makes a valuable contribution to the performance of its collisions. The 200mm five cylinder unit is slimmer than those found in larger Volvo salvos and this helps free up the space between the engine and passenger compartment. In a collision, the engine can be pushed 150mm back with many parts, such as a battery, which are designed to move to a predetermined position, before the engine block contacts the cross member near the bulkhead.
Many sophisticated interior systems from the Volvo S80 have been incorporated into the Volvo S40 design. The steering column changes shape to 140mm in the horizontal plane, so that the driver’s air bag stays in the optimal position. If a hard impact occurs, the pedal assembly will also collapse to prevent injury to the driver’s lower leg.
Two ‘smart’ front airbags and used in two stages according to the severity of the accident, reduce the risk of facial injuries caused by the faces of affected passengers with airbags.
Airbags are equipped with three-point seat belts with tensioners, which are installed for all five passengers. Tensioners are activated in a few thousand seconds in the event of a collision and tighten the belt for maximum protection. The front seat safety belt is then released slightly so that the driver and passengers are swung by the airbag in a controlled manner. Seat belt reminder systems are installed for the front and rear seats – the front reminds the driver of the audio signal, while the system for the rear seat informs the driver via a message on the instrument panel.
The Volvo S40’s side impact protection is no less impressive. The Volvo S40 is currently 50mm wider than the original, which frees up extra space for deformation in the event of a collision. The dynamics of the SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) are shared with the larger Volvo S80. Most of the collision forces that can penetrate the side of the car are scattered by SIPS through beams, pillars, floors, roofs, and other parts of the car body.
Side impact airbags play an important role in protecting occupant crates. They are mounted on the outer edge of the front seat, not on the door, which ensures that they are always positioned safely next to the passenger side, regardless of the position or angle of the seat. They are also bigger than those in the original Volvo S40 to provide more effective hip and chest protection.
Further protection is provided by IC (Inflatable Curtain) airbags, which are in headlining and protect the front and rear occupants. If a side collision occurs, the Curtain will expand in a few fractions of a second and then continue to increase for about three seconds to provide maximum protection in a complex series of collisions.
If there are airbags installed, the danger lights will automatically be activated – a feature that helps attract the attention of other motorists in the event of a single vehicle accident in the dark.
All Volvo cars tested by the International Insurance Whiplash Prevention Group (IIWPG), which includes the UK Motor Insurance Insurance Research Center in Thatcham, are placed in the best class of the ‘Dynamic Seat Assessment 2005’. Volvo Car Corporation is the only manufacturer that achieves this result.
The Volvo S80 shows off the WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System) to help prevent neck and back injuries in rear bumps, and this system is now installed throughout the Volvo range. WHIPS reduces the acceleration force in the neck during the rear end accident by about half. If an accident occurs, the entire backrest moves to the back to reduce tension on the occupants’ back and neck. Then, when their backs have been held securely by the backrest, it tends to backward to reduce the strength that would otherwise throw their head forward.
The front seat of the WHIPS is intentionally sturdy so that it can withstand high loads of items such as unsafe luggage, but it also can produce if there is a severe collision, when strength and flexibility are needed. “Our chairs are much stronger than those usually found in compact segments,” Broberg said.
The Volvo traffic accident research team compared real life whiplash injuries from Volvo with and without WHIPS, and the results showed clear conclusions: WHIPS reduced short-term and long-term injuries (over a year) by 33 percent and 54 percent respectively, while injuries whiplash in women decreases by 50 percent and 75 percent respectively.
All Volvo car head restraints are placed in the highest category in the ‘New Car Whiplash Ranking’ published by Thatcham Motor Insurance Insurance Research Center. Static tests are performed to measure the design and position of head restraints in 500 car models.
In October 2002, the United States Insurance Institute for Road Safety (IIHS) compared car seats with and without whiplash protection, and achieved an injury reduction of 49 percent on average.
Like Volvo, the Swedish insurance company Folksam also compared accidents in real life, and showed that the WHIPS seat reduced whiplash injuries by up to 40 percent. In 2003, the Accident-tested Folksam seats from a number of factory cars were different, and Volvo seats were considered the best. Reducing overall whiplash injury in the region of 50 percent is considered possible, if all cars have seats as good as Volvo.
To help driver safety, Volvo has developed BLIS (Blind Spot Information System), the first system of its kind introduced to help avoid the risk of accidents caused by blind spots.
BLIS uses an intelligent digital camera system that is inserted into both rear view mirrors to constantly monitor the area next to the car for other vehicles or motorbikes and, if detected, informs the driver through an orange light placed on the A-pillar of the car with a door mirror. .
The Volvo S40 has been designed to minimize the risk of injury to pedestrians and cyclists in the event of an accident. The smoothly shaped front has an energy-absorbing structure in front of the bumper that serves to reduce the risk of foot injury. The hood and front wing have also been designed to absorb collision energy and the gasoline engine model has a large free space between the top of the cylinder head and the hood, which reduces the risk of pedestrian head injuries.
Passenger airbag cut-off switches are available to allow the child seat to be transported in front of the car, while, behind, Volvo also pays special attention to child safety with the option of an integrated booster cushion mounted inside the rear middle armrest designed for children between 4 and 10.
In addition, two integrated booster cushions are available for rear seats as part of the optional ‘Family Package’.
Volvo’s holistic approach to vehicle design also extends to the area of personal security and has won the overall ‘Best Manufacturing’ in the two-year annual UK Car Safety Insurance (BISCA) Award (2004 and 2005).
The Volvo S40 is engineered together with Thatcham, the world’s leading technology and automotive center, and this car is installed as a standard with various features designed to protect passengers from theft, theft and attack.
An electronic immobilizer makes it impossible for the car to be turned on without the right key, while deadlock makes it difficult to enter. If the thief successfully enters, through the window, for example, the deadlock system makes it impossible to open the door from inside. The Volvo S40 is also equipped with an ‘anti-theft’ electronic sign and the control module is uniquely identified, while audio equipment is an integral part of the installed electrical system.
The sophisticated locking system of the Volvo S40 can be individually designed in various settings. For example, the remote control can be adjusted so that a single ‘blip’ opens all doors, or only the driver, and the indicator can be set to turn on when the door is locked or unlocked. It is also possible to set the door to lock automatically when the car pulls and to open and close the window remotely. As an option, the Volvo S40 can be equipped with layered side windows, which are very difficult to destroy. This is an unusual feature in cars in this sector.
Another important contribution to personal security is provided by the Safe Home lighting system and Approach. By pressing the button on the remote control when approaching the car, the driver can turn on the lights inside, side marker lights and lights in the rearview mirror. When leaving the car, a change in the lamp switch activates the dipped headlight, illuminating the path to the door. The headlights can be adjusted by the driver to stay on for 30, 60 or 90 seconds.
Volvo on Call
Volvo On Call is a sophisticated telematics system and other valuable personal security features. It uses an integrated GSM phone with a built-in GPS unit for satellite positioning, and ensures assistance is always close.
Volvo On Call is equipped with standard security and an optional security package: If a pre-suppressed airbag or seat belt is triggered during an accident, Volvo On Call automatically calls Emergency Services via BT999 and can also provide your location data.
Or, pressing the red ‘SOS’ button on an integrated GSM phone will direct you directly to Emergency Services.
Also, if the car breaks down or you need help, pressing the Volvo On Call button will direct you directly to the Volvo On Call operator, who is only one call at a time to offer personal services such as route guidance, or to guide roadside assistance for you. The optional Volvo On Call security package offers additional benefits from remote door-opening facilities, theft notifications and vehicle tracking.
This simple but effective security feature offers peace of mind and contributes to the comfort and convenience of having a Volvo S40.
Gallery of 2008 Volvo S40 Specs and Review
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