With the S40, Volvo offered the same comfort and safety levels in compact size as the drivers of the larger 850 had already enjoyed for some years.
Soon, the two original versions (with 1.8 and 2.0 liter engines) were supplemented with new economic and exciting models. From the fuel-thrifty turbo diesel version to the high-performance T4 (200 bhp) performance S40 model, a worthy successor to classic performance Volvos like the PV544 Sport, the P1800 and the 240 Turbo.
However, the S40 has not only become popular on regular roads - it has also become a spectacular racing car, its most remarkable success notched up when Richard Rydell won the BTCC (British Touring Car Championship) in his S40 1998. The S40 has also been quite successful in the STCC (the Swedish Touring Car Championship).
In 2000, the S40 was successfully introduced in North America.