Year of Volvo 480

Volvo 480 photos, specs - Car Pictures & Images

The Volvo 480 is a car with an unusual 4 seat, 3-door hatchback body, somewhere between liftback and estate in form, though marketed as a coupé. It was the first front-wheel drive car made by Volvo Cars.

Press launch was on October 15th 1985, but the 480 was first put on show at Geneva in 1986, the 480 became available to the public in 1987. Produced in Born, Netherlands, at the factory which built DAF cars, including the DAF 66-based Volvo 66 and later Volvo 300 Series. The platform that was also used in the Volvo 440 and 460. It was originally designed for the North American market (as can be evidenced by its US-spec front and rear side markers, not used on European automobiles), but in the end was never officially sold there. The 480 was the first Volvo of its style since the Volvo P1800, and the last until the unveiling of the Volvo C30.

The concept was to design a front-wheel drive car with an integral computer to control the advanced electronics found in the car. Unfortunately, the necessary technology was still in its infancy, and the 480 was plagued with electrical problems. Revisions in the early 1990s saw improved reliability.

Offsetting these problems, the car had excellent handling, due in no small part to its Lotus-designed suspension, and a series of reliable Renault engines, tuned by Porsche.

In 1988, a Turbo version was introduced, increasing the power from 109PS (108hp/ 80kW) to 120PS (118hp/ 88kW). Maximum torque was 175N·m (129lb·ft) instead of 140N·m (103lb·ft) for the naturally-aspirated 1.7L engine. In 1993, due to new legislation which meant that catalytic converters had to be fitted to unleaded petrol engines, power dropped and so the 2.0L engine was developed; it was rated at 110PS (108hp/ 81kW) and 165N·m (122lb·ft).

In 1992 the 480 was given new mirrors, and headrests for the back seats, along with subtle modifications to the trim and body-colour bumpers. A 2.0 naturally aspirated engine was also introduced, and the computer-controlled electronics underwent revisions. Changes between the CEM (Central Electronic Module) are externally apparent with the introduction of a total closure system whereby the key can be held in the lock position to close the windows and (where fitted) sunroof. Earlier CEM modules feature a "passing" function for the wipers, whereby fully depressing the accelerator pedal will switch intermittent wipers to full.

Early 1992 saw the release of two-tone special editions; 1994 saw the UK release of the "Celebration" limited edition of 480 specially equipped and numbered cars.

In 1994 the 480 was updated further with clear front turn signals.

Production ended on 7 September 1995 with about 80,463 units produced.

Prototypes for variants

The 480 factory also made several prototypes, including a 480 with an electric drivetrain, a supercharged version (G-lader), a version with a 16-valve engine and a version with a turbocharged 2.0 L engine. However, none of these made it to production. A convertible was shown in the press in the mid 1980s but also did not make production due to a supplier going bankrupt.

 » Read More About Volvo 480

Volvo 480 Pictures by Years

1992 volvo 480
1988 volvo 480
Picture examples