Compact sport sedan shoppers will rejoice in the fact that every Volvo S40 for 2011 is now equipped with powerful turbocharged performance. The simplified model lineup encompasses the front-drive S40 T5 and its dynamically dashing sibling, the T5 R-Design. The former naturally aspirated base model S40 2.4i has been discontinued.
Guaranteed to deliver a rush, the standard 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbocharged engine develops 227 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque in both the T5 and T5 R-Design models. Yet this energetic powerplant is remarkably efficient with fuel economy estimates of 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. A five-speed "Geartronic" automatic transmission with "Auto-Stick" function is now standard on all S40s for the 2011 model year.
The lengthy roster of standard features for the S40 T5 includes 17-inch "Spartacus" alloy wheels, front fog lights, a power driver seat with memory, auto-dimming rear view mirror, air conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and aluminum inlays. A high performance sound system is also standard with CD player, HD Radio technology, AUX and USB inputs, 160-watt amplifier and eight speakers.
Moving up to the S40 T5 R-Design nets a suite of appealing enhancements. Among the roster of standard features is a unique grille with matte silver surround and R-Design logo, a sport body kit with color-coordinated side skirts and front and rear spoilers, premium leather/flextech seating surfaces with embossed R-Design logo, aluminum sport pedals, sport gearshift knob, R-Design inlays, watch dial instrument cluster and sport steering wheel. The R-Design also is fitted with dynamic sport suspension, a power glass moonroof and power front passenger seat.
A Preferred Package, available on the S40 T5, includes the power moonroof and power front passenger seat plus leather seating surfaces and a leather gearshift knob. The Climate Package, offered for both models, offers the added convenience of Electronic Climate Control (ECC), heated front seats, headlight washers and rainsensor windshield wipers.
The S40's Multimedia Package delivers enhanced listening pleasure via the Volvo Premium Sound System with Dolby Pro-Logic II(R) Surround Sound, 650-watt amplifier and 10 speakers. Also included is the Volvo Navigation System with Real Time Traffic, remote control and Map Care. Bluetooth hands-free phone interface is standard on all S40 models. Sirius satellite radio with a complimentary six-month subscription, Keyless Drive and rear park assist are optional.
The S40 provides confidence-inspiring performance plus standard Dynamic Stability Traction Control (DSTC). An extremely rigid platform affords levels of steering precision and suspension nimbleness found in the top vehicles in its class. Advanced braking, steering and chassis systems enable the S40 to feel secure in its capabilities across a broad spectrum of driving conditions.
With Automatic Hazard Warning, should any of the S40's airbags be deployed, the hazard lights will automatically be activated to attract the attention of other motorists. A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is standard and Volvo's ingenious Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) remains optional on both models. Active Bi-Xenon headlights that swivel the light beam in continuous synch with steering direction are also available.
Side impact protection is addressed by the use of extremely rigid cross members that form a 3-way attachment between the leading edge of the A-pillar and the base of the B-pillar. Similar cross members are found in the rear doors as well. This system of energy absorption, along with the slim-design five-cylinder engines is called Volvo's Intelligent Vehicle Architecture (VIVA), representing an innovative approach to vehicle safety design.