Volvo 700 Series
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|Body and chassis|
|Class||Mid-size luxury / Executive car (E)|
|Predecessor||Volvo 200 series (which continued)|
|Successor||Volvo 900 series|
The Volvo 700 series is a range of executive cars produced by the Swedish manufacturer Volvo Cars from 1982 to 1992. The 700 series was introduced in 1982 with the luxurious 760, followed two years later by the lower priced 740 which capitalized on the prestige attained by the very similar 760. The 700 series was then gradually replaced, beginning in 1990, by the 900 series. The 700, designed by Jan Wilsgaard, was originally to have been a replacement for the 200 series, but production of that model continued until the early nineties. The expensive 780, a Bertone-designed coupé version, entered production in 1986 and departed without a direct successor only four years later.
The most visible differences between the 700 and the 900 series were the more rounded corners on the body of the latter, and a somewhat better-appointed interior. The 700 series came to an end in late 1992 when the last 740s were built (although they were considered to be of model year 1993). The range was then augmented and finally supplanted by the Volvo 850 in 1993, with the last of the 900s being sold in 1998.
|Assembly||Kalmar, Sweden (VKA)
Halifax, Canada (VHA)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door saloon
|Transmission||4-speed Volvo M46 manual,
5-speed Volvo M47 manual,
|Wheelbase||2,770 mm (109.1 in)|
|Length||4,800 mm (189.0 in) (1982–1986)
188.4 in (4,785 mm) (1987–1989)
4,850 mm (190.9 in) (1990–1991)
189.3 in (4,808 mm) (1992–1993)
|Width||1,750 mm (68.9 in) (1982–1986)
69.3 in (1,760 mm) (1987–1993)
|Height||saloon: 1,410 mm (55.5 in)
estate: 1,435 mm (56.5 in)
1,315–1,404 kg (2,899–3,095 lb)
1,371–1,458 kg (3,023–3,214 lb)
Introduced in early 1984 (in the U.S. and Australia for the 1985 model year), nearly two years after the luxurious 760, the 740 was the lower-end version of the original 760. The 740 was intended to be a mid-size car that offered more style, performance, and luxury than the 200 series. The '4' in the middle of the Volvo model name had once signified a four-cylinder engine, but by the time of the introduction of the 740 it simply meant less luxurious equipment as four- and six-cylinder engines were fitted across the range. The 740 was available as a four-door sedan (sometimes referred to as the 744) and a five-door station wagon (also known as the 745).
Production of the 740 ceased on October 2, 1992, though the engine, transmission, chassis, and other details continued in the Volvo 940 (see below), which was essentially identical to the 740 with the exception of the rear of the sedans. For 1985, an intercooled version of the 2-litre turbo engine (B200ET) was introduced for markets such as Italy, where larger engines were heavily taxed. This unit produces 160 PS (118 kW) at 5500 rpm, ten horsepower more than the preceding non-intercooled B19ET variant, enough for a claimed 200 km/h (124 mph) top speed. For 1989, a 16-valve version of the larger B230 engine was introduced (B234), with nearly as much peak power as the turbo version. This was Volvo's first multi-valve engine. In 1990, the 740 received a minor facelift with new, smaller, composite headlamps and 780-style tail lights. In 1991, both the 740 and the newly introduced 940 received an updated dashboard, similar in appearance to the ones found in the 760. The 740 remained mostly unchanged for the 1992 model year, and sales ended in 1993 in favour of the Volvo 940.
Aside from styling, 1990 marked a number of mechanical improvements to the 740 series. The B200 and B230 motors received larger 13 mm (0.5 in) connecting rods. The 740 Turbo switched from the Garrett T3-series turbocharger to the Mitsubishi TD04 series, which offers quicker spool-up and better boost at low engine speeds, albeit at the expense of top-end performance. The electronic fuel injection system was upgraded from Bosch LH-Jetronic 2.2 to 2.4 (in 1988 for naturally aspirated cars, in 1990 for turbocharged cars). The newer fuel system offers onboard diagnostics, which are accessible from the engine compartment and require no special equipment. For 1993, the final model year for the 740, the mechanical engine cooling fan was replaced with an electric fan. The 1990-92 Volvo 700-series cars may very well represent one of the most reliable four-door passenger sedans of their era due to relatively few engineering limitations and solid build quality.
Trim levels were 740, 740 GL, 740 GLE, 740 SE, 740 GLT and 740 Turbo, worldwide.
Continental markets had some exceptions to this rule. The 740 Turbo 16V (most markets had the 2.3 litre 8-valve turbo engine) was sold mainly in Italy, but also in Portugal and Belgium, and used the 2-litre B204FT engine found also in the 780 for these same markets. The 740 Turbo 16V was equipped with the ECC from the 780 as standard.
Late in 1991, Volvo offered a sedan and wagon badged the 740 SE, standing for "special equipment". The 740 SE came in three colors; red, black, and white. Mechanically, the 740 SE was the same as a normal 740 Turbo, but with many features, such as a power sunroof and leather seats, as standard equipment. The SE also had a special factory color-keyed body kit, including front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and a spoiler for the sedan. The 740 SE, along with the 740 Turbo sedan, was discontinued for 1992.
Volvo 760 GLE (facelift model)
|Assembly||Sweden: Kalmar (VKA)
Australia: Clayton 
Canada: Halifax (VHA)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door saloon
|Engine||2.3 L B23ET 173 hp (129 kW) turbo I4
2.3 L B230ET 182 hp (136 kW) turbo I4
2.3 L B230FT/FT+ 165/190 hp turbo I4
2.8 L B28F 130 hp (97 kW) V6
2.8 L B280E 170 hp (130 kW) V6
2.8 L B280F 147 hp (110 kW) V6
2.4 L D24TIC 115 hp (86 kW) turbodiesel I6
4-speed AW71 automatic
4-speed AW72L automatic (lockup torque converter)
4-speed ZF4HP22 automatic (lockup torque converter)
|Wheelbase||2,770 mm (109 in)|
|Length||1982–1987: 4,800 mm (190 in)
1988-1990: 188.4 in (4,790 mm)
|Width||1982–1987: 1,750 mm (69 in)
1988-1990: 69.3 in (1,760 mm)
|Height||1,410 mm (56 in)
1,435 mm (56.5 in) (estate)
|Curb weight||1,360–1,510 kg (3,000–3,330 lb) |
The 760, the first was Volvo's attempt to cement a place in the prestige market, after building a reputation for building solid and safe rather than out-and-out luxurious cars. Jan Wilsgaard, head of Volvo's Design and Styling Team, proposed over 50 new designs for the new car.
It was introduced to the U.S. in 1982 for the 1983 model year as the 760 GLE saloon, having been launched in Sweden in February 1982 and in Britain from July 1982. An estate model followed in 1985.
This new design was criticized by the media when released: Gordon Murray of Autocar Magazine said, "to me it's obscene. That goes right against the grain of what everybody else is trying to do. To me it looks like a European version of a North American car. It produces the same amount of power as a 2600 or 3500 — in this day and age it disgusts me to see something about like that. It's a definite step backwards." All that changed however when Autocar and Car & Driver got their hands on a turbo intercooled 760; they said it was one of the best handling and fastest accelerating cars they had seen in a while, going from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in under 8 seconds.
Turbocharged and intercooled variants were added in 1984, station wagon variants and the 740 (the 760's lower-specification sibling) were introduced for the 1985 model year. In 1985, an electronic traction control system was introduced. Unlike the lesser 740, the 760 received standard anti-lock brakes in many models.
For the 1988 model year, the 760 received numerous updates. From the outside, the most noticeable of the over 2000 changes were the revised front sheet metal, including an aluminium hood, recessed windscreen wipers, and new aerodynamic headlights. Inside, all 760s received a revised dashboard which was angled towards the driver, 3-position tilt steering, and a new stereo system. The top versions (standard in the US) were equipped with a new electronic climate control (ECC). Underneath, saloons received the same multi-link independent rear suspension which was also introduced on the 780. The new 4-link rear axle also required a new fuel tank, which was in the form of a saddle, sitting atop the driveshaft. The volume of the tank shrunk by 2 liters, to 80 l (21.1 US gal; 17.6 imp gal). Along with the revised dash, the interior saw the addition of a revised dome light and many fabric accent pieces. The 760 Estate received the same changes, except it continued to use the live rear axle. This was due to the weight increase: the new rear suspension weighed about 40 kg (88 lb) more than the old one, and Volvo meant that loss of payload would not be worth the comfort improvements.
The Volvo 760 was a popular choice as a police car in several parts of Europe. East German leader Erich Honecker often used this Volvo in his governmental car pool. It was inevitably a popular choice with police in Scandinavian countries.
For 1990, its final year of production, Volvo 760 saloons received taillights in the style of the Volvo 780 and minor interior changes. The 760 was discontinued after the 1990 model year (with production ending on 27 June 1990), replaced by the Volvo 960, an update of the 760 chassis. The Volvo 740 outlived the 760, remaining for another two years, finally being discontinued in 1992 after the 850 was launched.
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe|
|Engine||2.0 L B200ET turbo I4
2.0 L B204FT/GT turbo DOHC I4
2.3 L B230FT/FT+ turbo I4
2.8 L B280F V6
2.4 L D24TIC I6 turbodiesel
4-speed manual and electronics
|Wheelbase||2,770 mm (109.1 in)|
|Length||1986–1988: 4,800 mm (189.0 in)
1989–1990: 4,785 mm (188.4 in)
|Width||1,760 mm (69.3 in)|
|Height||1,400 mm (55.1 in)|
|Curb weight||1,549–1,583 kg (3,415–3,490 lb)|
The Volvo 780 coupé debuted at the International Auto Show in Geneva, Switzerland in 1985, marking Volvo's return to the two-door coupé market following the departure of the 262C in 1981. The 780 became available in Europe in 1986 and in United States a year later.
Like its predecessor, the 780 was designed and built by Carrozzeria Bertone in Turin, Italy. The hood, trunk, and roof lines were all slightly lower than the standard 700 series profile, and the C-pillar was wider and had a more gradual slope down to the trunk. Headroom was improved over the 262C because of Bertone’s 1 cm lowering of the roofline. Window frames all had black matte trim, and were accented with chrome. Chrome also highlighted the door handles, bumpers, and side mouldings. Originally, it had been planned to use a smaller, 2,458 cc turbocharged, version of the PRV V6 (as seen in the Renault 25 and Alpine), which had been successfully tested in 740s and 760s. In the smaller engine compartment of the 780, however, the engine overheated and the PRV V6 Turbo never appeared in a Volvo.
In the first 2 years that the 780 was available worldwide (1986 and 1987) it received the B280F V6 engine and a solid (live) rear axle. In the Italian market, originally only the Volkswagen built D24TIC was to be offered, with 129 PS (95 kW), but soon the V6 also became available and a 155 PS (114 kW) 2.0-litre turbo (B200ET) Italian tax special was also added later in 1986. In August 1987, the 780 came equipped with Volvo's independent rear suspension, which used self-leveling Nivomat shocks, to keep ride height correct. An improved climate control unit (ECC) was also fitted.
The B280F at this point had roughly 150 hp (110 kW), but the car itself weighed nearly 3,400 lb (1,500 kg). To address concerns about performance, Volvo introduced the B230FT+; a B230FT with Volvo's Turbo+ boost controller, increasing the engine output to 175 hp (130 kW). The following model year saw it increase to 188 hp (140 kW). In Italy, later 780s were available with the B204GT. This was a 16 valve turbo motor producing 200 hp (150 kW). In the car's final year, 1991, it was rebadged simply as "Coupé". At this point, the car came only in turbo guise.
Volvo's official production total for the 780 is 8518 cars built between 1986 and 1991. From 1986 to 1995, Volvo offered a small, sporty coupé, the front-wheel drive Volvo 480, but a successor to the 780 would only be introduced in 1997 when the C70 became available.
The saloon model originally debuted in 1982 in Europe, and was joined by the estate for 1985.
|740||740 GL||740 GLE||740 GLE 16 valve||740 GLE Turbodiesel||740 Turbo||740 SE||760 GLE||760 GLE Turbodiesel||760 Turbo||780 GLE||780 Turbo|
|1992||EU/AU/US||EU||US (estate)||EU (estate)|
These engines were offered on 700 series vehicles:
- B19E: 2.0 L inline-4 (83.04-84.07, saloon only)
- B19ET: 2.0 L turbo inline-4 (83.12-84.07, saloon only)
- B23E: 2.3 L inline-4, naturally aspirated, Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection ('84)
- B23ET: 2.3 L turbo inline-4, utilizing Bosch Motronic engine management ('84)
- B23FT: 2.3 L turbocharged inline-4
- B28A: 2.8 L V6, naturally aspirated, carburated ('82-85)
- B28E: 2.8 L V6, naturally aspirated, Bosch K-Jetronic, high output ('82-86)
- B28F: 2.8 L V6, naturally aspirated, odd fire crankshaft ('82-86)
- B200E: 2.0 L inline-4, naturally aspirated, Bosch K-Jetronic 115 hp (86 kW)
- B200F: 2.0 L inline-4, naturally aspirated, Bosch LH-Jetronic 111 hp (83 kW)
- B200K: 2.0 L inline-4, naturally aspirated, Renix ignition, 200K had standard head unlike 230K (introduced for the '85 model year)
- B200ET: 2.0 L inline-4, turbocharged, Bosch Motronic engine management (155 hp or 160 PS, introduced for the '85 model year)
- B200FT: 2.0 L inline-4, turbocharged, Bosch LH-Jetronic 156 hp (116 kW)
- B204E: 2.0 L 16-valve, DOHC, inline-4, naturally aspirated (introduced for the '89 model year)
- B204FT: 2.0 L 16-valve, DOHC, inline-4, turbocharged (introduced for the '89 model year)
- B204GT: 2.0 L 16-valve, DOHC, inline-4, turbocharged (introduced for the '89 model year)
- B230A: 2.3 L inline-4, naturally aspirated, carburated (1985–86)
- B230E: 2.3 L inline-4, naturally aspirated, Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection (introduced in the '85 model year)
- B230F: 2.3 L inline-4, naturally aspirated, 114 hp ('85-88 740GLE, '89-90 740GL, '90-92 740)
- B230K: 2.3 L inline-4, naturally aspirated, Renix ignition, Heron head (introduced for the '85 model year)
- B230ET: 2.3 L inline-4, turbocharged, Bosch Motronic (introduced in the '85 model year)
- B230FT: 2.3 L inline-4, turbocharged, 160 hp ('85-92 740 Turbo **note: '90-92 models produced 162 hp**)
- B234F: 2.3 L 16-valve, DOHC, inline-4, naturally aspirated, 153 hp ('89-90 740 GLE/GLT)
- B280E: 2.8 L V6, naturally aspirated, Bosch LH-Jetronic 2.2, 154 hp (115 kW) Nordic or 168 hp (125 kW) European version even fire crankshaft (introduced in the '87 model year)
- B280F: 2.8 L V6, naturally aspirated, Bosch LH-Jetronic 147 hp (110 kW), even fire crankshaft ('87-90)
- D24: 2.4 L inline-6 diesel, 82 hp (61 kW), naturally aspirated (Volkswagen)
- D24T: 2.4 L inline-6, turbodiesel, 109 hp (81 kW), variant of the LT35 engine manufactured by Volkswagen.
- D24TIC: 2.4 L inline-6, turbodiesel, intercooled, 122 hp (91 kW) (780: 129 hp (96 kW)), variant of the LT35 engine manufactured by Volkswagen.
Volvo offered various transmissions depending on the year, model, and engine combinations including the:
- M46 manual transmission (4-speed + Laycock de Normanville overdrive)
- M47 manual transmission (5-speed)
- AW30-40 electronically controlled automatic transmission (4-speed, lockup torque converter)
- AW70/AW70L automatic transmission (3-speed + overdrive, lockup torque converter on some models)
- AW71 automatic transmission (3-speed + overdrive)
- AW72L automatic transmission (4-speed, lockup torque converter)
- ZF 4HP22 transmission automatic transmission (4-speed, lockup torque converter)
Suspension and axle
There were also different suspension combinations depending on the model chosen:
- 1030: standard rear axle
- 1031: heavy-duty version of the 1030
- 1041: rear axle with Eaton locking mechanism
- Volvo Assembly Plants Retrieved from www.volvoadventures.com on 26 August 2012
- "Volvo 1990 740 Model". New.volvocars.com. Retrieved 2015-09-21.
- "1992 Volvo 740". New.volvocars.com. Retrieved 2015-09-21.
- "1986 Volvo 740 GL, GLE, Turbo". New.volvocars.com. Retrieved 2015-09-21.
- "1988 Volvo 740". New.volvocars.com. Retrieved 2015-09-21.
- Mastrostefano, Raffaele, ed. (January 1985). "Volvo "740 Turbo", "760 GLE A."". Quattroruote (in Italian). Milan, Italy: Editoriale Domus. 30 (351): 126, 130. Quattroruote only managed to reach 196.85 km/h (122.32 mph)
- James Stanford, 12 orphan cars built in Australia, www.wheelsmag.com.au Retrieved 11 July 2016
- "1985 Volvo 760 GLE, Turbo". New.volvocars.com. Retrieved 2015-09-21.
- 760 Estate model at VolvoClub.org
- "The 1988 Volvo 760 - Same Badge, New Car". apps.volvocars.us. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
- Svallner, Björn (1987-08-19). "Premiär: Volvo 1988" [Presenting: Volvo 1988]. Teknikens Värld (in Swedish). Stockholm, Sweden: Specialtidningsförlaget AB. 39 (18): 8–10.
- Svallner, Björn (1987-09-02). "In i 200-klubben - prismässigt" [Into the 200-club - pricewise]. Teknikens Värld (in Swedish). Stockholm, Sweden: Specialtidningsförlaget AB. 39 (19): 17.
- Mastrostefano, Raffaele, ed. (1990). Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 1990 (in Italian). Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A. pp. 1181–1182.
- "1989 Volvo 780". New.volvocars.com. Retrieved 2015-09-21.
- "1987 Volvo 780". New.volvocars.com. Retrieved 2015-09-21.
- Lindh, Björn-Eric (1986). Volvo: The Cars - From the 20s to the 80s (2nd English ed.). Malmö, Sweden: Förlagshuset Norden. p. 226. ISBN 91-86442-14-7.
- Lindh, Volvo: The Cars, p. 214
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