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Volvo’s Best-selling Car Ever
From 1974 to 1993, there is a range of mid-size cars that kept Volvo in the competitive automotive market. This is the Volvo 200 series, and during its time, it became so famous among consumers that it was not replaced until 1993. This vehicle actually outlived its supposed to be successor, the 700 series.
The car’s longevity allowed it to be sold alongside the 700 series car until they were both replaced. The range was sold alongside the then available Volvo 260 series and the combined sales figures of the two car series amounted up to 2.8 million units sold during their lengthy 19-year run. The amazing popularity of the Volvo 240 series is in past due to its reputation as the safest car in its time. After all, Volvo has made safety for their consumers their top priority in the design and construction of their cars.
What made the cars from the Volvo 240 series very safe is in the construction of the body and the frame. The sturdiness of the car gave the company a reputation for producing boxy cars which at the present they are moving away from. The hard as rock construction of the cars and its safety systems employed make it the world’s safest car for many years. Features, like crumple zones at the back and the front protects the car’s occupants in cases of collisions, and three-point seat belts gave the car the lowest driver death rate between 1990 and 1993. The figures from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that there are 0.1 driver deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles between 1990 and 1993.
The cars from the series are a direct descendant from the Volvo 140 series produced also by Volvo, they also use the same components but the Volvo 240 series has undergone some improvements most notably in its suspension system. The Volvo 240 series used McPherson struts in their front suspension, thus increasing the stability of the cars and increased the room around the engine bay. Steering is also improved by using the rack-and-pinion steering system which is also fitted with power steering on some of the trim packages of the 240 series. Crumple zones are also improved during the design and construction of the cars. Safety systems are also implemented which are straight out of their Volvo Experimental Safety Car - a prototype made by the Sweden-based car manufacturer in 1972.
Aside from the safety systems employed by the Volvo 240 series cars, the overall design of the cars does not differ much from its predecessor. The engine employed by the 1974 Volvo 240 series is also the same B20A four-cylinder engine which the original Volvo 140 series was equipped with. The same Volvo 240 parts or the majority of them was used in the Volvo 140 series which gives them a legitimate testing ground.
During the series’ long run in the market, they have been marketed in different trim levels with different trim level designations. The L or the Luxe trim package is the least expensive of them all. Next is the DL or the De Luxe trim, followed by the GL or the Grand Luxe, the GLE or Grand Luxe Executive and the usually most premium offering, the GLT or Grand Luxe Touring and the GT or Grand Touring packages.
The cars’ high performance made the Volvo 240 a serious competitor not only on the market but also on the race track. An example of that is the car’s win in the 1986 Australian Touring Car Championship and the Wellington 500 kilometer street race in New Zealand. Another race it dominated is the Guia Race in Macau which the car won in 1985 and 1986.
About the Author: Glady Reign is a 32 year old is a consultant for an automotive firm based in Detroit, Mi. she is a native of the motor city and grew up around cars hence her expertise in the automotive field.