Volvo Cars today released details of the updated 2008 S40 and V50 range.
The main difference being more differentiation between the S40 sedan and V50 wagon.
Taking a few pointers from the S80 sedan, the S40 has been enhanced with a new colour-coordinated soft nose which in addition to a new grille and a larger Volvo badge gives the car a more aggressive and lower stance.
"The new, lower and more horizontal appearance radiates smooth power." says Steve Harper, the man responsible for the design of the MY2008 Volvo S40 and V50.
Additionally, new headlamps and a lower air intake (that goes across the entire front) add some needed flare.
Changes specific to the V50 include a new black egg-crate grille with a larger Volvo badge, new headlamps and the three sculpted lower air intakes.
Both models have had some rear cosmetic surgery with the lower part of the tail lamp panel on both the S40 and V50 now 30mm higher than before while the actual tail lamps themselves have an new graphic layout. Volvo has also updated the brake lights to LEDs.
Responding to feedback, Volvo has worked extensively refining the interior of both models.
"The criticism of the current models' limited storage space served as inspiration when the time came to sketch the new interior of the S40 and V50. We weren't entirely satisfied until we felt we had exploited every single available cubic centimetre in an efficient way," relates Harper.
Areas which received the most improvement were the door sides and the floating centre console.
Volvo throw the old door sides away and started from scratch, this resulted in the audio system loudspeakers being reshaped to free space for a new, larger storage compartment with space for an A4 format book, an upright soft drinks can or a water bottle lying down.
Thankfully this hasn't been at the expense of Volvo's superb sound system. In fact Volvo designers have managed to free more space for an extra Dynaudio loudspeaker (only for Premium Sound).
As for the centre console, the handbrake has been reduced in size allowing for more generous storage capacity. The console is also now available in additional decor versions such as the Nordic Light Oak real wood inlay.
Best of all though, prices will remain the same, the S40 starts from $39,950 for the 2.4-litre naturally aspirated front-wheel-drive S variant and goes all the way to $54,950 for the four-wheel-drive 2.5-litre turbo T5.
The V50 starts from $42,950 for the S variant while the range topping turbocharged T5 sits at $57,950.