|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 two-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 sixteen-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 eight-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.