Volvo 242 Specs


The Swedish automaker Volvo manufactured the 242, a two-door saloon-style car, from 1974 to 1984. Because of the decline of popularity in two-door cars, Volvo discontinued the 242 long before its contemporaries, the 244 and 245 models. This car is famous for its unique flat hood design.

General Specifications

  • The Volvo 242 features the four-cylinder in-line OHV engine with turbocharger option. It has a four-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission, and a multiport continuous fuel injection system. The car has a Volvo "T" grind 9.94-mm lift camshaft and a Garrett Air Research T3 turbocharger. The car has hydraulic disc brakes on all four wheels. Standard gauges include tachometer, oil, voltmeter and turbo control.


  • The Volvo 242 measures 189.9 inches long from front to back, 67.3 inches wide and 56.3 inches tall. It has a wheelbase of 104.3 inches and a curb-to-curb turning radius of 32.2 feet. The car has a ground clearance of 4.7 in. It has a gross vehicle weight of 4030 lbs. and a maximum trailer weight of 3300 lbs.


  • The 242's liquid-cooled, four-cylinder gasoline engine has an output of 114 horsepower at 5,400 revolutions per minute (rpm) and a max torque of 175 foot-lbs., depending on the options package. The car's engine displaces 2.32 liters and has a compression ratio of 9.8 to 1.


  • Volvo launched the 240 line, which includes the 242, in the autumn of 1974. Superficially, it looked somewhere between the earlier 140/160 series and an experimental prototype called the Volvo Experimental Safety car. Features unique to this model include a new front design, larger bumpers and a developed chassis with a McPherson type front-wheel suspension system. Upon its release, the car retailed between $17,000 and $19,000. In 1984, the 242 won the European Touring Car Championship.


  • Volvo has a reputation for producing extremely safe and dependable cars; the 242 is no exception. Safety features on this car include reinforced side-impact intrusion bars, halogen high-beam headlamps, electrically heated rear windshield, fog lights and a seat belt reminder light. This car also features a fresh air outlet, air-conditioning, sliding steel sunroof with wind deflector, thermostatically controlled headed driver's seat, heating and ventilation system, cigarette lighter and dual outside power mirrors with remote adjustment for creature comforts.

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