The Volvo V50 was launched in early 2004 as a somewhat larger estate evolution of its Dutch-built V40 predecessor. The design language and the specification level harmonised more closely with the larger Volvo V70 estate car. The aim was to give customers large-car properties in a compact format and with clearly sporty overtones.
The 2008 Volvo V50 has undergone a number of changes. This will attract an increasing group of young buyers, looking for a compact premium estate.
Five-door sports wagon.
The Volvo V50 has a design with a curved roof line and an abrupt tail section. The car’s appearance emanates modern design and speed. This is emphasised by a rounded nose section, short bonnet and pronounced cab-forward stance. Broad shoulders and convex side panels signal power and underscore the car’s compact dimensions.
The tail lamps follow Volvo’s modern form and sweep up towards the roof panel.
Despite its compact exterior dimensions, the Volvo V50 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. In order to create even more space for luggage, the car’s rear section has been extended by 46 mm compared with the Volvo S40 saloon model.
The interior is inspired by Scandinavian product design with the emphasis on uncluttered surfaces, honest materials and good function. The Volvo V50 (and Volvo S40 ) saw the introduction of Volvo’s ultra-slim, free-floating centre console with illuminated storage compartment behind. The Volvo V50 and S40 were also launched with a specially developed upholstery material - T-Tec - that echoes ultra-modern sports clothes and luggage.
The new 2008 model has a black egg-crate grille, including a larger Volvo iron mark, reinforcing the V50’s sporty impression. The new headlamps and the three sculpted lower intakes increase the colour-coordinated soft-nose’s solid impression. The lower part of the tail lamp panel is 30 millimetres higher and the lamps are of a completely new graphic design. The rear position marker lamps accentuate the car’s shoulders. The new rear bumper has integrated reflectors in the lower corners. In addition, the tailpipe has more horizontal lines, reinforcing the broader design language. The new Volvo V50 has been supplemented with new, flexible loading solutions and increased storage space. The inner panels of the front doors are larger than before, making room for an A4 format book, an upright soft drink or a lying down water bottle. In addition, this space makes room for an additional Dynaudio® loudspeaker (in cars with Premium Sound).
The well-known centre stack is now available in additional decor versions, like Nordic Light Oak real wood. The centre stack design theme continues to the rear seat in an elegant, flowing manner. The refined storage space between the seats is now even more flexible than before, in a truly Scandinavian design way. The handbrake’s more compact design creates additional storage space.
The larger storage compartment, featuring two holders for large and small cups, is equipped with a sliding cover. The driver’s armrest has been improved in terms of flexibility, and features a so-called hamburger table. Even the small spaces inside the car have been fully utilised. This means that spaces housing option or accessories controls are converted into convenient storage compartments, when certain functions are not in use. The back of the console has a flip-up holder for a 1,5 litre bottle, within easy reach for the rear-seat passengers.
New design details in the instrument panel and air vents enhance the overall feeling of a refined interior. The upholstery range has been expanded and comprises base level upholsteries and more exclusive alternatives. New, finer grained leather is just one example. There is a new fabric - Spring Green - with a green accent available on the base level. The new upholsteries are one more step towards meeting the customers wish for a personalised interior.
A newly developed R-design theme will be available (by autumn 2007) for the 2008 Volvo V50. This package features a number of exciting options and design details, satisfying an increasing group of customers, looking for an even more refined and sporty car. Some R-design features will also be available as separate accessories for the standard Volvo V50 models.
The R-design concept features:
- Satin matt-finish grille
- Colour-coordinated bumpers...
- and lower side mouldings
- Rear or roof spoiler
- Satin matt-finish, door mirror caps
- 17", five-spoke aluminium wheels (18" as an option)
- Decotrim on the tailgate
- R-design badge in the grille
- Seats in off-black Vulcaflex
- Seat cushion and backrest in contrasting cream-coloured leather
- Embossed R-design logo on backrests
- Contrasting stitching
- Leather-trim steering wheel with R-design logo
- Unique instrument cluster
- Aluminium pedals
- Specially designed, aluminium centre stack...
- and door inlays
- Gear selector with aluminium inlay
- Tufted, dark sport floor mats...
- including contrasting light leather seams
Volvo Car Corporation has a holistic view of safety that encompasses both preventive and protective safety.
Preventive safety is closely linked to the car’s driving characteristics. The body of the Volvo V50 features immense torsional rigidity and the car has a sturdy chassis, a combination that results in consistent, predictable behaviour on the road (see also "Powertrain and Chassis").
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. In 2008, the V50 model will get some new functions and systems within the area of safety. The Active Bi-Xenon headlamps have a swivelling function, making it possible for the headlamps to follow the curvatures of the road. This helps increasing visibility when driving in the dark on winding roads. Another function activates the hazard warning flashers automatically if an airbag has been deployed. This helps attracting other motorist’s attention in the event of a single collision, especially in the dark. The brake lamps have been supplemented with Emergency Brake Lamps (EBL). If the driver stamps hard on the brake pedal, the brake lamps start flashing rapidly, and helps alerting other vehicles behind the car.
Protective safety in the Volvo V50 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 of 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 V50. What is more, all five seats are equipped with three-point inertia-reel seat belts, belt pre-tensioners and head restraints. To attain the highest possible level of safety, all the car’s occupants should always use their seat belts.
Powertrain and chassis
The engines in the Volvo V50 are transversely installed in-line units. New methods of reducing the engine’s external dimensions have made it possible to fit a five-cylinder engine in the compact V50 body. Volvo can thereby offer a compact car with high performance and large-car feel. A five-cylinder engine offers low vibration and smooth operation. Together with large displacement, the five-cylinder configuration provides high torque across a broad range of rpm, resulting in swift acceleration and excellent driveability within a wide speed range. Four-cylinder engines are available as an option. The Volvo V50 T5 is the top model, featuring a turbocharger and five-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox. During the second half of 2007 the D5 engine will also be available with a manual gearbox. This means that the D5 engine will be available with a maximum torque of 400 Nm. In addition, the D5 engine is one of the first to meet the expected Euro 5 European exhaust emission levels.
The following engine options will be available 2008:
- 1.6, 100 hp
- 1.8, 125 hp
- 1.8F, 125 hp (Flexifuel)
- 2.0, 145 hp
- 2.4, 140 hp
- 2.4i, 170 hp
- T5, 230 hp
- 1.6D, 109 hp
- 2.0D, 136 hp
- D5, 180 hp
The T5 model is also available with electronically controlled All-Wheel Drive. The chassis, with spring struts at the front and Multilink axle at the rear, is set up for stable, reassuring driving manners and alert steering response. The Multilink rear axle is an independent rear suspension system featuring a number of links and it is designed to offer a good combination of controlled wheel movements and a high level of riding comfort. Some of these links have the task of providing a certain degree of anti-skid steering effect. A long wheelbase and wide track, together with a very torsionally rigid body, contribute to the predictable, controlled driving manners.
Volvo’s advanced DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) stability-enhancing system is fitted as standard. DSTC intervenes and helps stabilise the car if it registers any tendency to skid.
World class audio system
The new V50 can be specified with an audio system of absolute world class. The most advanced of the three systems, Premium Sound, has a digital amplifier from Alpine, Dolby® Pro Logic II Surround and loudspeakers from Dynaudio of Denmark. In the High Performance and Premium Sound systems it is possible to play CD discs with music in MP3 or WMA format. This means that the CD changer can store several hundred music tracks and give the owner access to his or her own private home music library even while on the move. What is more, all the audio systems now come with an extra socket (AUX) for connection of other equipment such as a portable MP3 player. USB and iPod connectors are available as accessories.
The Volvo V50 is designed and equipped to have as little impact as possible on the global environment, and to offer a clean and healthy interior climate. Petrol engines with low internal friction, efficient combustion and advanced exhaust filtration technology result in low emissions. Energy-efficient diesel engines with particle filters produce low emissions of carbon dioxide and soot particles. In addition, the Volvo V50 is available with a bio-ethanol-powered FlexiFuel engine.
The five-cylinder versions of the Volvo V50 can be optionally specified with a catalytic radiator coating - PremAir®. This system converts harmful ground-level ozone into pure oxygen as the car drives. Its benefits are greatest in heavy city traffic and in strong sunlight. Volvo’s IAQS (Interior Air Quality System) effectively reduces the amount of particles, pollen, gases and certain unpleasant odours in the air entering the cabin. All the textiles and leather upholsteries are certified according to ÖKO-TEX 100, an international standard that ensures that the interior trim is free from allergy-producing and hazardous substances.
The 2008 Volvo V50 - brief summary
Please note that some systems and functions are optional.
- New front design
- The Volvo "iron mark" is more accentuated
- Redesigned headlamps, available with Halogen, Bi-Xenon or Active Bi-Xenon
- New rear bumper and tail lamps
- Tailgate handle available in more designs
- Oval exhaust pipes for the T5 and D5 models
- Hazard warning flashers
- Flashing brake lamps
- Sportier side skirts
- Textile wheel arch liners
- Wind deflector in front wheel arch
- New door mirror housings
- Colour co-ordinated roof aerial with new design
- Roof rails in light alloy
- New exterior colours
- New aluminium wheels
- New door panels with larger storage compartments
- New tunnel console and more comfortable armrest
- Improved handbrake
- 230 bhp for the T5 model
- Geartronic without "Winter" button
- Manual gearbox for the D5 engine
- New decor panels and decor rings
- Improved air vents
- New start control in cars with Keyless Drive
- Redesigned key/remote control
- New instrument panel in the T5 and D5 models
- Passenger airbag with ON/OFF display
- Deactivate button for forward Park Assist function
- New upholsteries
- Upgraded RTI system