There's a new sporty flair in the S40 lineup as Volvo equips the turbocharged T5 front - and AWD models with standard R-Design equipment. Cues that set the R-Design apart include 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, Off Black Flextech/Crème premium leather seating surfaces with embossed R-Design logo, aluminum sport pedals, sport shift knob, R-Design inlays, watch dial instrument cluster and sport steering wheel.
In addition to the R-Design elements, both T5 models are enhanced with standard power driver seat memory, heated front seats, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface and auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass. New 18-inch "Midir" diamond-cut wheels are now optional. And so is the enhanced Volvo DVD-based navigation system with improved driver interface.
Meanwhile the normally aspirated S40 2.4i receives a plethora of standard features that were previously optional. Enhancing the value of Volvo's most attainable sedan is a standard 5-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch "Spartacus" wheels, high-performance sound system with 6-disc in-dash CD player and MP3 capability, Sirius satellite radio, aluminum inlays, power moonroof, front fog lights, power driver's seat and Bluetooth. Nordic Light Oak inlays can be selected as an option.
A choice of powerplants gives each S40 model a distinct character. The normally aspirated 5-cylinder engine produces 168-horsepower to motivate the S40 2.4i. Boosting the fun factor, output for the S40 T5 high-pressure turbocharged engine is a lively 227 horsepower. The added traction and security of electronically controlled all-wheel drive is fitted to the T5 AWD model.
The S40 provides confidence-inspiring performance with each engine. 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.
Automatic Hazard Warning is a new safety feature that made its debut last year. 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 all models. Active Bi-Xenon headlights that swivel the light beam in continuous synch with steering direction is 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 5-cylinder engines is called Volvo's Intelligent Vehicle Architecture (VIVA), representing an innovative approach to vehicle safety design.