After a long time finally a Volvo with an innovative exterior.
In the history of the Volvo coupes with a continuous roof it placed itself exactly between the P 1800 and the C 30. Nevertheless, it takes compared to both a special place. From Snow White's coffin it differs the front-wheel drive with transverse engine and the fact, that it fully was planned like this by its development and not an existing model has been redesigned.
It also build on the prevailing Volvo square design at the time, which is consistently continued in the dashboard. The pop-up headlights distinguish it from predecessors and successors. The novelty of it is the appearance of electronics, by an 'information center' impressively in scene. Instead of analog displays and control lamps, there are seven segment displays and beam-shaped LEDs. Nevertheless, the electronic control unit can show the current fuel consumption, average speed and remaining range of the tank. In addition to the central locking and alarm system it illuminates if required the path towards the house and the door lock. In this class is new the reduction of power steering assistance at higher speeds.
At a Volvo is important the safety of the body as a passive crash protection. They advertise with twice as high impact protection demanded from the strictest legislator. Very early Volvo has realized the stronger side impact protection, e.g. with adequate reinforcements in the doors. Who gives in the middle class at that time already 8-year guarantee against rust? You start just beginning to think elsewhere about galvanized and high-strength materials. In the 480 they are already in use. Obviously even the little Volvo is designed for a long life.
A technical innovation is also the engine hood made of glass fiber reinforced plastic. It is one of the few components remaining of the LCD project from 1983. There one radically had tried to reduce the empty weight and at the same time to install a more fuel efficient engine. With regard to the CO2 debate of 2007, this project sounds very topical. Too bad that so little of it was transferred to the series.
Especially in view of the U.S. export the bumper can withstand an impact without damage up to 8 km/h even on a vertical pale. Unfortunately, the car has never reached then the U.S. market. It remains also because of its purchase price, a niche car. In addition, there are the known defects of too early introduced electronics and difficulties with the glass hatch. Volvo's management has decided to present him before the sedan 440/460. He looks faster than it is. There, however, the turbo engine helps used a lot later. Meanwhile, the installation of the regulated catalytic converter it has even thrown back a little (see table below). But perhaps also in Central Europe, the time yet has not come for a dynamic looking car with four equivalent seats.