Volvo 440 Successor Grows Curves (Wheels, Australia, ?)
This is Volvo's replacement for the ageing 440 hatch. And yes, it is disguised ... under the boxy add-ons is a rakish five door hatch, codenamed V40 and developed jointly with Mitsubishi.
Styled by Volvo's Peter Horbury, V40 - expected to be sold as the Volvo 540 - shares platform and glasshouse with Mitsubishi's forthcoming European Lancer replacement.
Eighty per cent of manufacturing operations are shared, and production streamlining will cut the V40's build time at the Dutch NedCar plant to 17 hours - 11 hours less than the current 440.
European engine options are 1.8 litre petrol, 2.0 litre petrol or 2.1 litre turbodiesel - ironically, supplied by Renault. Volvo insists the failed Swedish-French merger has not affected supply.
V40 is expected to go on sale in Europe early 1996, with Australian versions due later that year or early 1997.