The Volvo S40 has a compact body with rounded lines and a clean-cut tail section. The car's appearance exudes modern design and speed. The short bonnet and pronounced cab-forward stance help create a spacious cabin with generous interior space. Broad haunches and convex side panels signal power and underscore the car's compact dimensions.
The sporty and prestigious front has elements from the Volvo S80 and V70. The grille has a deep mesh pattern. The surrounding chrome mouldings help to emphasise the premium image.
The headlamps are the same on the S40 and the V50 models and come in three different versions:
The Active Bending headlamps rotate together with the steering wheel for optimal lighting when driving on winding roads. The tail lamps follow Volvo's modern form.
The lower door mouldings and the sill mouldings enhance the sporty character of the car. In addition to standard black they can be painted in the same colour as the car's body. To protect the painted sill mouldings they are combined with small mud flaps behind the front wheels. The lower sections of the front and rear spoiler are also available in black or in the colour co-ordinated version. The T5 and D5 models always come with colour co-ordinated mouldings and spoilers as standard (European version).
The Volvo S40 1.6D DRIVe models have a number of unique aerodynamic design elements that, beside optimising airflow and lowering fuel consumption (and reducing CO2 emissions), visualise the entire DRIVe philosophy. The S40 1.6D DRIVe comes with an aluminium wheel, Libra, in two different sizes, 15" or 16". In addition, the front spoiler and the spoiler on the boot lid come from the Volvo S40 T5 and D5 models.
As an option, the front side windows can be given an extra water repellent coating. The treatment means that water blows off the glass more easily, improving visibility during rain.
An Auto-fold function is available for the power retractable mirror option. With the Auto-fold function, the mirrors are set to automatically fold in when the car is locked. When the car is unlocked, the mirrors will fold out again.
The following exterior colours are available for the Volvo S40:
* Black Stone Solid (019)
* Passion Red Solid (612)
* Ice White Solid (614)
* Silver Metallic (426)
* Black Sapphire Metallic (452)
* Titanium Grey Pearl (455)
* Flint Grey Pearl (462)
* Safari Green Pearl (464)
* Barents Blue Pearl (466)
* Brilliant Blue Pearl (476)
* Electric Silver Metallic (477)
* Maple Red Pearl (478)
* Orinoco Blue Pearl (479)
* Gecko Green Pearl (488)
* Matt Gold Pearl (489)
* Chameleon Blue Pearl (490)
* Savile Grey Pearl (492)
Despite its compact exterior dimensions, the Volvo S40 offers a spacious and flexible interior. Every passenger seat has a fold-flat backrest. With the seats folded down, the load compartment floor is entirely flat. The interior is inspired by Scandinavian product design with the emphasis on uncluttered surfaces, honest materials and good function. The Volvo S40 saw the introduction of Volvo's ultra-slim, free-floating centre console with illuminated storage compartment behind.
The Volvo S40 was also launched with a specially developed upholstery material called T-Tec, which echoes ultra-modern sports clothes and travel goods.
The tunnel console and the armrest have been given a design matching the dashboard's floating centre console and with the same type of decor inserts. The aim has been to provide the highest possible feeling of quality while still increasing the flexibility and storage possibilities.
The space below the centre armrest is deep, long and wide and can house 10 CDs. The audio system AUX input is located here. In the armrest cover, there is extra storage space that can house mobile telephones, MP3 players or other odds and ends. The storage space in front of the armrest has room for two removable cup holders. The space is covered by an elegant black rubber roll-top.
Volvo Cars adopts a holistic view of safety that encompasses both preventive and protective safety. Preventive safety is closely linked to the car's driving properties. The body of the Volvo S40 features immense torsional rigidity and the car has a sturdy chassis, a combination that results in consistent, predictable behaviour on the road.
Volvo Cars has developed various information systems designed to help the driver while on the move. One such system is IDIS (Intelligent Driver Information System), which for instance delays incoming phone calls in complex traffic situations that require the driver's undivided attention. Protective safety in the Volvo S40 is structured around a network consisting of exterior and interior safety systems that interact with one another to reduce the risk of occupant injury in a collision.
The exterior systems have the task of distributing and absorbing incoming collision forces so that the passenger compartment remains as intact and undamaged as possible. The body is therefore built in the form of a metal cage made using different grades of steel, where all the components interact with one another to ensure controlled deformation.
The interior safety systems aim to keep the passengers securely in place and also to reduce the risk of serious injury. In order to provide the most effective protection possible, Volvo Cars has developed a number of in-house systems, such as WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System), SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) and IC (Inflatable Curtain). All are fitted as standard in the Volvo S40. What is more, all five seats are equipped with three-point inertia-reel seat belts, belt pre-tensioners and head restraints. The highest possible safety requires that all the car's occupants always use their seat belts.
The Volvo S40 can be equipped with the HomeLink function. The function makes it possible to operate up to three remote controlled home devices (e.g., garage door, home alarm system, etc.) via a module integrated into the sun visor. HomeLink contributes to easy and safe access to your home.
Volvo S40 is available with an advanced function that helps reducing the risk of alcohol-related traffic accidents. This function, Alcoguard, is an immobiliser that helps the driver to make a decision whether to drive or not while influenced by alcohol. However, it is ultimately the driver's responsibility to make "sober" decisions in relation to the Alcoguard function's recommendations.
Driveline and handling
The engines in the Volvo S40 are transversely installed in-line units. New methods of shrinking the engine's external dimensions have made it possible to fit a five-cylinder engine in the compact S40 body. Volvo can thus offer a compact car with high performance and large-car feel. A five-cylinder engine gives low vibration and smooth operation. Together with large displacement, the five-cylinder configuration provides high torque across a broad rev band, and thus also swift acceleration and excellent driveability within a wide speed range. Four-cylinder engines are available as an option.
The Volvo S40 T5 is the top model, featuring a turbocharger and five-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox. The T5 model is also available with electronically controlled All-Wheel Drive.