Probably the most significant new model is the S/V40 2.0T which uses a light pressure turbo to boost the standard 2.0-litre engine's power output by 20bhp from 140bhp to 160bhp, while at the same time delivering a healthy rise in torque from 135lb-ft to 170lb-ft. Most importantly, it peaks all the way from 1,800û4,800rpm, giving the car the performance it has always cried out for.
The 2.0T joins an expanding range that is expected to significantly boost Volvo's overall sales: volumes of the S/V40 are expected to rise from 1997's 19,996 units to 24,000 in 1998, making the model by far the company's biggest seller. Total volume of all models for 1998 is anticipated at 41,800, rising from 40,485 in 1997, giving the company a modest market share increase from 1.87% to 1.97%.
With a ú1,600 price premium over the standard 2.0-litre, the 2.0T starts at ú18,405 for the base, or 'platform', car, and rises to ú21,995 for the CD. The 2.0T SE tested here costs ú19,705, placing it in direct contention with the likes of the Audi A4 Avant 1.8 and just ahead of other 'interesting' turbocharged cars including the Subaru Impreza Turbo at ú20,220.