Volvo’s sterling reputation for quirky, rock-solid, super-safe vehicles is perhaps best illustrated by the legendary Volvo 240. It’s been 40 years since the launch of the Volvo 240 in 1974, and its boxy charms haven’t worn off in the least. Taking a look back at Volvo 240’s 19-year production run, it’s not hard to see why.
With 2,685,171 units produced between 1974 and 1993 at Volvo’s Torslanda plant, the Volvo 200 series is the Swedish automaker’s most successful model in its history. Nearly all of the vehicles sold were four-cylinder Volvo 240 models with just 177,402 examples of the more-powerful, V-6 Volvo 260 sold. The first Volvo 240 was an evolution of the older Volvo 140, but the 240 was longer, and it received bigger bumpers as well as the now-iconic “lattice” headrests.
Early Volvo 240 vehicles used a new B21A four-cylinder engine, which was offered with either a carburetor or fuel-injection (97-hp and 123-hp, respectively). Only the fuel-injected models were available in the U.S. due to emissions regulations, but all Volvo 240 models benefited from MacPherson struts and rack-and-pinion steering. Later engine options included five- and six-cylinder diesels, and a 155-hp turbo engine introduced in 1981 for the Volvo 244.
The fan favorite however, has and always will be the wonderful Volvo 245 turbo wagon. Collectors and enthusiasts are still enamored with its combination of utility and performance, and its long reach is clearly visible in modern interpretations like the Volvo V60 Polestar.
Volvo hasn’t forgotten either, despite moving in a new technology-focused direction with the upcoming Volvo XC90. How much horsepower does Volvo’s modern V60 wagon make with its own 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo? You guessed it—240 hp.