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Old 09-18-2003, 06:46   #1 (permalink)
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U.S.A.:New Volvo S40, Mazda3 stay in Focus; vehicles share components, not looks

By MARK RECHTIN AND DIANA T. KURYLKO | Automotive News

Base Volvo S40 models get five-cylinder power with a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual.
It doesn't look like a Ford Focus. It doesn't feel like a Focus. And it doesn't share powertrains with the Focus - at least not in America.

So is the next-generation Volvo S40 really a Ford Focus at heart? While the platform architecture of Volvo's redesigned entry-luxury sedan is shared with the Focus and Mazda3 compact sedans, the new S40 has substantially different component sets designed to set it apart from its lower-priced siblings.

The S40's sheet metal stays in line with the rest of the Volvo lineup, with rounded corners and broad shoulders. But what's underneath is substantially different.

While European S40s will share some four-cylinder engines with Ford, the American-market S40 will offer only five-cylinder engines exclusive to Volvo. The base 2.4-liter model will generate 170 hp and 170 pounds-feet of torque, while the turbocharged T5 model will generate 220 hp and 236 pounds-feet of torque.

The transmissions also will come from higher-end Volvos. The standard manual transmission is a six-speed borrowed from the S60R, and the five-speed automatic also comes from the S60.

Meanwhile, Mazda will introduce its Focus derivative, the Mazda3, in October in the United States. It will come as a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback with targeted sales of about 70,000 units annually, about the same as current sales for the Protege and Protege5 it is replacing.

Both U.S. models will be available with either a 2.0- or a 2.3-liter four-cylinder powerplant.

Mazda says the best technology from each of its partners was used, such as Volvo safety expertise and Ford's drivetrain components. About 42 percent of the components are shared.

(Left Photo)Volvo hopes to sell 70,000 units annually globally, with America accounting for about 34,000.
(Right Photo)The Mazda3 will be offered as a 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback. The base engine is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder.
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File Type: jpeg mazda3.jpeg (18.1 KB, 10 views)
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