The Volvo 480 is a compact Sports car produced in Born, Holland, by Volvo from 1986 to 1995. It was the first front-wheel drive car manufactured by the automaker. The 480 was available in just one body style on a car platform related to the Volvo 440/460 six-door hatchback and four-door sedan models.

It features an unusual four-seater, three-door hatchbacks, somewhere between the liftback and the shaped property. The 480 was marketed as a coupe in Europe from 1986. The compact car was originally intended to be marketed in the United States as a 2 + 2 "sports car" in the fall of 1987, although these plans were canceled due to continued weakness. of the US dollar in 1987.

Volvo took six years from the time the 480 was designed, through its development, and finally brought to production readiness.

The press release was on October 15, 1985, but the 480 was first shown in public in March at the 1986 Geneva Motor Show, becoming available to buyers in May 1986.

The automaker described the car as a "sporty style" four-seater and the first Volvo with front-wheel drive. The press described it as having an "elegant body" in contrast to Volvo's traditional "wagon look".

Volvo also stated that it was one of the first cars sold in Europe with bumpers designed to meet NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) regulations to withstand a frontal impact of 8 km / h (8 km / h). without damaging the engine, lights and safety equipment.

This was the only Volvo to feature pop-up headlights, this was done to meet NHTSA standards for minimum headlight height while maintaining aerodynamic shape.

However, although it was expected to sell 25,000 vehicles abroad, the introduction of the Volvo 480 on the American market was postponed indefinitely in February 1988, citing unfavorable market conditions and the US dollar exchange rate.

The concept was to market a modern, compact front-wheel drive car with an exclusive design designed for buyers "between 25 and 40, probably with an above average education and a professional career".

Designed by Volvo's Dutch subsidiary, the "sporty 480 ES coupe" was introduced to change the automaker's "sloppy image" and for the "yuppie" market segment.

Volvo pointed out that the car was "well endowed with advanced electronics" and the automaker's press release described the numerous features in detail.

The 480 had good handling, due in part to its Lotus designed suspension. The normally aspirated Renault engines were reliable.

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