Nowadays, there are still Volvo drivers, who are not impressed with the modern, streamlined Volvo. They are enthusiastic about the earlier models, in which they could transport their whole, extensive leisure-time equipment. Of course, this praise is aimed mainly at the wagon station. More about this below.
Here, we have purposely shown the saloon version, because this is what inflamed the opinions at that time. So much so, that Volvo themselves, made any number of pictures of the 940/960 available, indeed, there wasn't one rear view shot of the saloon among them. Still, one should be careful when accusing the company of being excessively conservative, after all, at that time Mercedes had the 124, and as far as car-body design was concerned, that certainly wasn't particularly exciting.
The '9' was new at Volvo. It stood for a new model, which was valid for the rear-end but not necessarily for the front. Indeed, up to then Volvo hadn't had an engine like this. The previous engine was a co-production with the French manufacturers. This time, Volvo themselves had developed, with help from Porsche, a straight six-cylinder. The result certainly brought in good marks, even though the twin camshafts simulated more sportiness than was possible with this cubic capacity and respectable curb-weight.
So far the explanation for the number '60' in the model designation. Respectively, the '40' meant a straight four-cylinder, which by the way, had a cast-iron- instead of an aluminium block. Indeed, the difference didn't end there. The buyers of the entry-level model had to be satisfied with the tried and tested but very simple for a car like this, rigid axle, whereas the six-cylinder was fitted with a multi-link axle. The automatic transmission of the six-cylinder had four speeds and was much more modern, the four-cylinder only had a three-speed automatic or a four-speed manual gearbox.
The engineers at Volvo have earned themselves a name as experts for safety, Over and over again, have they come close to Mercedes. One detail in the 940/960 should be mentioned here: The rear child-seat for three to ten year olds, which was virtually integrated into the widened arm rest. It could be had as an optional extra and protected by means of a three-point seatbelt, which was available for the passenger in the middle anyway.
Although the already mentioned station-wagon gave the impression of being much longer than the saloon, it was in fact, only about 3 centimetres longer. The station-wagon was so popular, e.g., in Germany, that it was offered until 1998, whereby the saloon, disappeared from the market somewhat earlier. The rear-end of the station-wagon also made a more harmonious impression here. By the way, the 900-series marked the end of a long tradition of rear-wheel drive Volvos. 06/15