The Volvo 240 is known for being one of the safest, most reliable and tuner friendly cars of all time. It was practical yet fast making it one of the coolest sleeper cars of all time. If you have a related fact that you would like to have mentioned, make sure to leave a comment below or visit my contact page.
It was the early 70s when Volvo debuted the Volvo 240. It was a boxy car with all sorts of designs that were way ahead of its time. One key feature that Volvo was very keen on was the car’s safety. The car had more pedestrian-friendly bumpers, insanely large crumple zones, a back that was entirely designed to protect the fuel tank and more. If for some reason you ever were crash at some point in this car, the car was designed so that the engine and the transmission went through the floor and kept you safe. Also, the entire steering column would just move out of the way. In fact, it won many awards from all sorts of highway and safety agencies and soon became the standard for overall safety in automobiles.
At this point, the car wasn’t what you would call the fastest thing on the streets at the time. It usually had a 2 liter 4 cylinder engines that were commonly known as Red Blocks because the engine blocks were colored red. The engines didn’t even make 100 hp but it was good enough for the icy roads in Sweden at the times and for getting the kids to soccer practice on time.
To accommodate the strict emissions regulations of the time, Volvo created an exhaust system that cleaned up to 90% of the waste gases expelled. This meant that Volvo was saving people in both the inside and the outside of the car (as James Pumphrey said in Up to Speed from Donut Media).
After this, the company introduced a Volkswagen 2.4 liter diesel inline 6 engine. They were so reliable that you can still find them running perfectly well today without a single problem and with all of the stock internals. They were also very tunable meaning that you could see these cars dominating the drag strip and destroying muscle cars.
In 1981, Volvo decided that their cars needed a little bit more speed in their lineup and introduced a turbo version of the 240. To advertise this new improvement to the car, Volvo decided that it wanted to enter the touring car racing championship. To enter Group A, they added a bigger turbo and did performance modifications to the cars including streamlining the cars by adding flat hoods.
A lot of people had their doubts at first about the boxy little car doing well in racing however they were quickly proved wrong. The cars were very light and had around 350 hp. It won in many touring car championships like the English Touring car championship, The European Touring car championship, the Australian Touring car championship and more.
For the entire lifetime of the 240, there was only one generation that lasted 20 years with minor design changes and tons of trim levels. The car earned a cult following and everyone who owned them loved them. They sold 2.8 million of them and according to Donut Media, between 1990 and 1994, not a single 240 driver died in a solo accident which is a huge safety achievement for the company. The car could do everything from rallying to drag racing. That is the story of the Volvo 240.
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