Volvo 200 is First Produced

The Volvo 200 series was a range of luxury mid-size cars produced by Volvo from 1974 to 1993, with more than 2.8 million sold worldwide.

Also designed by Jan Wilsgaard, the 200 series was essentially an updated version of the 140; it shared the same body, but included a number of mechanical improvements. The 200 replaced the 140 and the 140-based 164, and overlapped production of the Volvo 700 series introduced in 1982. As the 240 remained popular, only the 260 was displaced by the 700 series — which Volvo marketed alongside the 240 for another decade. The 700 series was replaced a year before the 240 was discontinued.
The Volvo 240 was Volvo's best-selling car from 1975 until 1982. During those years in European markets, its companion was the smaller Volvo 66/300 series.

The Volvo 240 and 260 Series was introduced in the autumn of 1974, and was initially available as six variations of the 240 Series (242L, 242DL, 244DL, 244GL, 245L and 245DL) and two variations of the 260 Series (264DL and 264GL).
The 200 looked much like the earlier 140 and 164 Series, for they shared the same body shell and were largely the same from the cowl rearward. However, the 200 incorporated many of the features and design elements tried in the Volvo VESC ESV in 1972, which was a prototype experiment in car safety. The overall safety of the driver and passengers in the event of a crash was greatly improved with very large front and rear end crumple zones. The 200 Series had MacPherson strut type front suspension, which increased room around the engine bay, while the rear suspension was a modified version of that fitted to the 140 Series. The steering was greatly improved with the installation of rack-and-pinion steering, with power steering fitted as standard to the 244GL, 264DL and 264GL, and there were some modifications made to the braking system.

The main changes were made to the engine. The 1974 240 series retained the B20A 4-cylinder engine from the 140 Series, with the new B21A engine available as an option on the 240 DL models. The new B21 engine was a 2127cc, 4-cylinder unit, which had a cast iron block, a five-bearing crankshaft, and a belt-driven overhead camshaft. This engine produced 97 bhp (72 kW) for the B21A carburettor 242DL, 244DL and 245DL, and 123 bhp (92 kW) for the B21E fuel-injected 244GL. All 240s were fuel injected in the US market; the carbureted B20 and B21 engines were not available due to emissions regulations.
The 264 models had a completely new V6 B27E engine called the Douvrin engine. This engine was developed jointly by Peugeot, Renault and Volvo, and is therefore generally known as the "PRV engine". The B27E engine had a displacement of 2664 cc, an aluminium alloy block, and wet cylinder liners. This engine produced 140 bhp (100 kW) for both the 264DL and 264GL. All models were available with a choice of 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission. Overdrive was also optional on the manual 244GL, while a 5-speed manual gearbox was optional on the 264GL and 265GL.

The front end of the car was also completely restyled – that being the most obvious change of which made the 200 Series distinguishable from the earlier 140 and 160 Series. Other than all the changes mentioned above, the 200 Series was almost identical to the 140 and 160 Series from the bulkhead to the very rear end. Even the dashboard was the same as that fitted to the 1973-74 140 and 160 series.
In the autumn of 1975 (for the 1976 model year in America), the 265 DL estate became available alongside the existing range, and this was the very first Volvo estate to be powered by a six-cylinder engine (unless one counts the single "165" that Volvo is said[who?] to have made for designer Jan Wilsgaard). Around this time, the existing 200 Series underwent some technical changes. The B20A engine was dropped from certain markets, though it remained available in other markets until 1977. Its replacement, the B21A engine, received a new camshaft which increased the output from 93 to 100 bhp (75 kW). The two-door 262 DL and GL sedans, the 264DL saloon (sedan) and the new 265DL estate (station wagon) were offered outside North America with the new V6 B27A engine. This engine was almost identical to the fuel-injected V6 B27E engine except it had an SU carburettor instead of fuel injection, and therefore it produced a lower output of 125 bhp (93 kW). The choice of gearbox was also greatly improved, with overdrive now available as an option in all manual models except the base-model 242L and 245L. As before, the 3-speed automatic was optional in every model.

The first models to reach the US market were 1975 models equipped with the old pushrod B20F engine, with the new OHC B21F motor making its way to America for the 1976 model year. A fuel-injected variant of the V6, the B27F, was introduced to the US in the 1976 260 series. The US and Canadian 200-series ranges were not identical; the B21A carbureted engine was never available in the US, but was the base engine in Canada from 1977 through 1984. 1975-76 Canadian models were identical to their US counterparts. Beginning in 1985, Canadian models received the US model engines, usually in 49-state form, except for the Turbo, which only had California emission controls.
Incremental improvements were made almost every year of the production run. One of the major improvements was the introduction of the oxygen sensor in 1976 (1977 models), which Volvo called Lambda Sond and developed in conjunction with Bosch. It added a feedback loop to the K-Jetronic fuel injection system already in use, which allowed fine-tuning of the air and fuel mixture and therefore produced superior emissions, drivability and fuel economy.

About one-third of all 240s sold were station wagons, which featured very large cargo space of 76 cubic feet (2.2 m3). They could be outfitted with a rear-facing foldable jumpseat in the passenger area, making the wagon a seven-passenger vehicle. The jumpseat came with three-point seat belts, and wagons were designed to have a reinforced floor section, protecting the occupants of the jumpseat in the event of a rear-end collision.
The last 200 produced was a blue station wagon built to the Italian specification and named the "Polar Italia", currently displayed at the Volvo World Museu

Volvo was to release the venerable 200 series in 1974, and such was the popularity of the car that it would enjoy an amazing production run of nearly 20 years.

The replacement was supposed to be the 700 series, released in 1982, however such was the popularity of the “boxy but safe” 200 series that Volvo were reluctant to cease production.

A good thing too, with both the 200 and 700 series being sold side-by-side for the next 10 years. The 700 series was replaced by the 900 series in 1992, however the 200 hung in for another year, finally disappearing from the showroom in 1993.

Initially released as the 240 and 260 series, there were six 240 model variations available, including the 242L, 242DL, 244DL, 244GL, 245L and 245DL. The 260 came as either the 264DL or 264GL.

Both were derived from the prototype experimental safety car that was developed in 1972, where the notion of improved (and considerably larger) front and rear crumple zones had proved a life-saver in continued crash testing.

Other mechanical improvements were made over the outgoing 140 and 164 series cars, such as the introduction of McPherson strut type front suspension, rack and pinion steering (power assisted in the 244GL and both 264 models) and improvements to the braking system.

However the most significant changes were to the engine itself. When first released in 1974, the 240 series carried over the B20A 4 cylinder engine from the 140 series, however an all-new B21A engine was available as an option on the 240DL models.

The 2127cc B21 engine incorporated a five-bearing crankshaft and belt driven camshaft, increasing power to 97bhp for the normally aspirated 242, 244 and 245DL’s, and an impressive 123bhp for the B21E fuel injected 244GL model.

The 264 models used a completely new V6 B27E engine, dubbed the “Douvrin”. Devoped in partnership with French manufacturers Peugeot and Renault, the engine was soon given the acronym PRV. The 2664cc alloy block engine was good for 140bhp, and was mated to a 4 speed manual gearbox or optional 3 speed automatic unit.

Overdrive was also optional on the manual 244GL, while a 5-speed manual gearbox was optional on the 264GL. The front end came in for a significant re-style too, cosmetically this being the biggest difference over the outgoing 140 and 160 series vehicles.

In most other ways however the 200 series was nearly identical to the outgoing models, and even the dash was carried over from that fitted to the 140 and 160 series cars between 1973 and 1974. In 1975 the 265DL estate was added to the range, the first ever Volvo estate to have a six-cylinder engine. In 1976 the 200 Series underwent some technical changes, most notable was Volvo’s dropping of the trusty B20A engine – necessitated due to tougher emission regulations.

The B21A engine became the standard fitment across the 240 range, and in the process underwent some minor technical improvements including the fitment of a revised camshaft, the power output in turn being increased from 93 to 100bhp. Both the 264DL saloon and the new 265DL estate were fitted with the new B27A V6 engine, almost identical to the fuel-injected B27E V6 engine, but fitted with an SU carburettor instead of EFI and subsequently having a power output penalty, even though it was a still respectable 125bhp. Overdrive was made available as an option on all manual models, with the exception of the entry-level 242L and 245L, while the 3-speed automatic gearbox remained an option on every model.

Incremental improvements were made almost every year of the production run, such as the introcution of an oxygen sensor in 1977 (seen in 1978 model cars). The Lambda Sond system was a joint initiative between Volvo and Bosch, and provided a feedback loop to the K-Jetronic fuel injection system allowing more advanced fine tuning of the air to fuel mixture.

The new system offered many advantages, including lower exhaust emissions and fuel consumption, while providing better more tractable power. Like the Mercedes wagons of the day, the Volvo wagons also doubled as people movers, and particularly in the US market became increasingly popular. When fitted with a rear-facing foldable jump-seat, the wagon could carry 7 passengers, Volvo doing its best to ensure the safety of any rear seat passengers by reinforcing the floor section and installing three-point seat belts. The last ever 200 manufactured was a station-wagon, and is on display in the Volvo World Museum.

The Volvo 200 series is a range of mid-size cars produced by Volvo from 1974 to 1993. The 200 series replaced the Volvo 140 and 164 and was itself replaced by the Volvo 850.

The 200 series was actually supposed to be replaced by the Volvo 700 series, which was introduced in 1982, but Volvo 240s were extremely popular with consumers and only the 260 was replaced. The 200 and 700 series cars instead sold side-by-side for another decade. The 700 series ironically was replaced first, in 1992, and the 200 series was ended the following year. During its 19-year-run, over 2.8 million 240s and 260s were sold worldwide.

The Volvo 240 was and is Volvo's best-selling car and, from 1975 until 1982, the only Volvo imported to the United States automobile market. During those years in European markets, its companion was the smaller Volvo 66/300 series.
Consumers' perception
For many years, the 240 was one of the safest cars in the world. Many of the design elements carried over from the Volvo VESC, including crumple zones and three-point seat belts. These features allowed the Volvo 240 to have the lowest driver death rate between 1990 and 1993. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety listed the model as having 0.1 driver deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles during that time period. [2]

In addition to the numerous safety features, the car's brick-like styling and sturdiness helped create the stereotype of the 200 series as boxy and ponderous, but extremely safe. Finnish people gave this model the nickname "huoralaiva", which means "hugger boat" in English.

The model is normally referred to aloud as a "two-forty" or "two-sixty," not a "two-hundred-forty," etc.
History
The Volvo 240 and 260 Series was introduced in the autumn of 1974, and was initially available as six variations of the 240 Series (242L, 242DL, 244DL, 244GL, 245L and 245DL) and two variations of the 260 Series (264DL and 264GL).

At a glance, the 240 and 260 Series looked very much like the earlier 140 and 164 Series, but it actually started off as the Volvo Experimental Safety Car in 1972, which was a prototype experiment in car safety. The overall safety of the driver and passengers in the event of a crash was greatly improved with very large front and rear end crumple zones. The 200 Series had McPherson strut type front suspension (which increased room around the engine bay) while the rear suspension was a modified version of that fitted to the 140 Series. The steering was greatly improved with the installation of rack-and-pinion steering (with power steering fitted as standard to the 244GL, 264DL and 264GL), and there were some modifications made to the braking system.

The main changes were made to the engine. The 1974 240 series retained the B20A 4-cylinder engine from the 140 Series, with the new B21A engine available as an option on the 240 DL models. The new B21 engine was a 2127cc, 4-cylinder unit, which had a cast iron block, a five-bearing crankshaft, and a belt-driven overhead camshaft. This engine produced 97bhp for the B21A carburettor 242DL, 244DL and 245DL, and 123bhp for the B21E fuel-injected 244GL.

The 264 models had a completely new V6 B27E engine. This engine (which was called the Douvrin engine) was developed jointly by Peugeot, Renault and Volvo (hence the nickname ‘PRV'). The B27E engine had a capacity of 2664cc, and which was fitted with an aluminium alloy block and wet cylinder liners. This engine produced 140bhp for both the 264DL and 264GL. All models were available with a choice between 4-speed manual gearbox, with a 3-speed automatic gearbox being available as an option on all models. Overdrive was also optional on the manual 244GL, while a 5-speed manual gearbox was optional on the 264GL.

The front end of the car was also completely restyled â€" that being the most obvious change of which made the 200 Series distinguishable from the earlier 140 and 160 Series. Other than all the changes mentioned above, the 200 Series was almost identical to the 140 and 160 Series from the bulkhead to the very rear end. Even the dashboard was the same as that fitted to the 1973-1974 140 and 160 series. In true Volvo style, the 200-series offered high levels of comfort and safety protection features.

In the autumn of 1975 (for the 1976 model year), the 265DL estate became available alongside the existing range, and this was the very first Volvo estate to be powered by a six-cylinder engine(unless one counts the single "165" that Volvo is said to have made for designer Jan Wilsgaard). Around this time, the existing 200 Series underwent some technical changes. The B20A engine was dropped from the range because of emission regulations (though for some reason the 242L made do with this engine until the 1977 model year in some markets). The B21A engine (which was now standardised in the 242DL, 244DL, 245L and 245DL models) received a new camshaft, which increased the output from 93 to 100bhp. The two-door 262 DL and GL sedans, the 264DL saloon and the new 265DL estate now had the new V6 B27A engine. [3] This engine was almost identical to the fuel-injected V6 B27E engine except it had an SU carburettor instead of fuel injection, and therefore it produced a lower output of 125bhp. The choice of gearbox was also greatly improved, with overdrive now available as an option in all manual models, with the exception of the entry-level 242L and 245L. As before, the 3-speed automatic gearbox was optional in every model.

The first models to reach the US shores were 1975 models equipped with the old pushrod B20F engine, with the new OHC B21F motor making its way onto American shores for the 1976 model year. A fuel-injected variant of the V6, the B27F, was introduced to the US in the 1977 260 series.

As is usual for Volvo, incremental improvements were made almost every year of the production run. One of the major improvements was the introduction of the oxygen sensor in 1977 (1978 models), which Volvo called Lambda Sond and developed in conjunction with Bosch. It added a feedback loop to the K-Jetronic fuel injection system already in use, which allowed fine-tuning of the air and fuel mixture and therefore produced superior emissions, drivability and fuel economy. Some models (notably the 242 and 240) could get up to 23 miles per gallon.

About one-third of all 240s sold were station wagons, which featured very large loadspaces. They could be outfitted with a rear-facing foldable jumpseat in the passenger area, making the wagon a seven-passenger vehicle. The jumpseat came with three-point seat belts, and wagons were designed to have a reinforced floor section, protecting the occupants of the jumpseat in the event of a rear-end collision.

The last ever 200 produced was a station-wagon that was placed in the Volvo World Museum.
Engines
The 200 series was offered with three families of motors. The first, dubbed the red block, is a family of Volvo designed four cylinder motors. The 200 series saw both overhead valve and overhead cam versions of the red block motors. A more detailed account of the red block motors can be found under the Volvo B20 engine and Volvo B21 engine articles. The second family, dubbed the PRV, is a family of V6 motors developed in a partnership with Peugeot, Renault, and Volvo. The third, the diesel motors, were simply unchanged Volkswagen motors.
6-cylinder PRV
The B27 was a 90 degree V6 produced by Peugeot, Renault, and Volvo in collaboration and is often referred to as the "PRV." This engine was unusual at the time, being comprised of many small parts in a modular design (as opposed to a monolithic engine block and head) much like modern engines. Volvo increased the displacement to 2.8 liters in 1980 with the introduction of the B28F and B28E engines, which was prone to premature camshaft wear, lasting approximately a mere 120,000 miles. Camshaft failure can often be delayed with regular valve adjustments and synthetic oil. Volvo continued to use the B28 V6 in their new 760 model. DeLorean Motor Company went on to use the PRV B28F in their famous DMC-12 vehicles. A dubious reputation and bad fuel economy saw the V6 models being dropped from the lineup in 1983. The updated B280 engine used in the final years of the 760 and 780 models did not suffer from the same premature camshaft wear.
Diesel VW
In 1979 Volvo introduced a diesel engine that was purchased from Volkswagen, and is similar in design to that used in diesel Volkswagen and Audi vehicles at the time. These engines were all liquid cooled pre-combustion chamber diesel engines with non-sleeved iron blocks and aluminum heads. A Bosch mechanical injection system was utilized, but requires constant electrical input so that the fuel can be cut off when the ignition key is removed. A 2.4 liter inline 6 (the D24) and a 2.0 liter inline 5 (the D20) were available producing 82 hp and 68 hp (61 and 51 kW) respectively. A turbocharged diesel was never sold in the 200 series volvo. These engines have earned a bad reputation for longevity, but have been shown to last a very long time if run on 5W30 synthetic oil (Volvo recommended 15W40 non-synthetic) with regular timing belt changes.