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700 Model FAQ


John H. Laughlin
'81 242DL B21F M46 235K mi
'84 245GL B23F AW70 226K mi
'85 245DL B230F M46 158K mi

Volvo 700/900 series changes list

1983 - First year of 760 model line. Came in two variants, one was the normal 760GLE with the B28F V6 engine from the 1982 264GLE and the AW71 automatic transmission from the 1982 240T, the other was equipped with a turbocharged version of the diesel engine used in the 1983 264GL and had only the M46 manual transmission. All cars came with sunroof, cruise control, fog lights, dual heated seats, automatic climate control (ACC), power windows, power door locks, and power mirrors. Different radios were available during the year (one was the CR-2170 tape player used in the 240, but with a different trim panel, the other was the TD-3110, which was not available in the 240 series cars until 1985). Seats came in either velour or leather. All cars up until 1985 were only in 4-door sedan body style.

1984 - Automatic transmission available in 760TD model for the first time (ZF 4HP22L). New 760 Turbo sedan introduced in mid 1984 with intercooled and turbocharged B23F engine and either the M46 transmission or the AW71 transmission, both used on the B21FT engine. All other features are like the 1983 760GLE.

1985 - New wagon introduced along with new 740 and 740 Turbo variants. The 740 line was similar to the 760, except for no automatic climate control, no power mirrors, 14 wheels with 185/70SR14 tires on 740GLE, and 15-spoke 15" wheels on 740 Turbo. Both cars used the B230F engine either turbocharged or in normally aspirated versions and with the M46 standard in both cases. Different automatic transmissions were used on each version of the 740. 740GLEs and 740GLE TDs got the ZF 4HP22 automatic, and the 740 Turbo got the AW71 automatic used in other Volvos. New Turbodiesel version of the 740GLE introduced with all basic features of the 84 760GLE TD, but without the automatic climate control and with 14" wheels. The 760 Turbodiesel lost the M46 transmission in 1985. Wagons were available in February 1985 and had split folding rear seats, more cargo room when seat is in the normal, upright position compared to the 245, but lost 1.1 inches of length when the seat is folded down. Cargo space is 3.9 cu. ft. larger, though. The Volvo 700 series wagons were available in three versions, 740GLE, 740 Turbo, and 760 Turbo. New TD-3141 tape player.

1986 - 760 Turbo lost the M46 transmission, while the whole 760 line lost the Turbodiesel. 740GLE TD lost manual transmission and was in its last year. 740 Turbo gained new upholstery (checked velour with leather accents), 5-spoke wheels with 195/60R15 Michelin MXV tires installed, new rear end emblem, no more grille emblem for the trim level, and gained dual speed, switchable bun heaters. 740GLE gained the new badging and the dual-speed bun warmers. 760s got the new badging, power driver's seat, new steering wheel, and heated power mirrors that were color-keyed to the body.

1987 - New Volvo 780 introduced. The 780 was a 2-door coupe produced in Italy by Bertone, with the new B280F V6 engine and automatic transmission. All other 700 series cars soldiered on unchanged, except for new distributors on the B230 engines and a new B280F V6 engine producing 145 hp @ 5100 and 173 ft.lbs of torque @ 3750 rpm. 740GLEs with M46 gained a "5" on the O/D button.

1988 - 760 restyled with new dashboard, new flush headlights with foglights mounted in between the headlights and the grille. More aerodynamically-designed hood, front air dam, and rear valance panel. New alloy wheels and audio system. New electronic climate control system. Rear suspension was redesigned into a multi-link design for sedans, wagons kept the old live-axle setup used since 1983 in the 700 series. 780 gained the new suspension and HVAC system of the 760. 740s gained power mirrors and a power sunroof. All 760s and 780s came equipped with driver side air bags, as well as the 740 Turbo. Air bags were optional on all other 740s. M47 manual transmission becomes standard on 740GLE.

1989 - 740GLE becomes 740GL with new 15" steel wheels with full wheel covers. New 740GLE model introduced with 16-valve B234F engine and 15" alloy wheels. 740 Turbo adds power driver's seat and full leather interior is available again. All 740s came equipped with 20Wx4 audio systems with 6.5" coaxial speakers in front doors. The 780 gained another model, the 780 Turbo, with a higher performance version of the B230FT and mesh alloy wheels. New AW72L automatic transmission on 740GLE 16V. Mitsubishi turbo compressor on 745/765T models with AW71.

1990 - New front end styling for 740 series cars with large flush headlights, lower and more steeply raked grille, new front bumper with integrated front spoiler and the taillights from the 780. New base 740 introduced with no sunroof and non-illuminated vanity mirror. 740GL loses power features on sunroof. The lower end 740s had black vertical-bar grilles, while the 740GLE had a chrome grille and the Turbo had a black egg-crate grille. All 700 series cars had air bags in the steering wheel. 760 gains taillights from 780. All B230FT engines gained new Turbos for better driveability and more power. 780 base model gained the mesh wheels of the 780T, and had a chrome vertical-bar grille to make it unique. The 780T gained the new Turbo along with the Turbo + kit for more power than ever before. 740 Turbo gained 16" 5-spoke swept design wheels. Last year for 740T sedan. Some 740 Turbos have the M47 series II transmission from the base 740 installed.

1991 - New 940 series replaces the 760 with the 760T becoming the 940SE with a restyled rear end. 740GLE becomes the 940GLE with the 760 front end and the restyled rear end, but loses the 4-speed + OD manual transmission. New 940 Turbo introduced with most of the 940SE features, except for the multi-link suspension, but with a black egg crate grille and the 740 Turbo wheels from 1990. 740 loses the manual transmission. 740 Turbo is the only car that still has the M46 manual transmission, but loses the 16" wheels and gains 20-spoke 15" wheels. Base 740 gains chrome vertical-bar grille from 1990 740GLE.

1992 - 940GLE only available in Canada, while the U.S. market gets a 940GL which is equipped the same as the 940GLE, but with the B230F and a black vertical-bar grille. 740 Turbo loses manual transmission and sedan bodystyle. New 960 model with 2.9 liter Inline-6 engine with 24 valves, 201 hp @ 6000 rpm, 197 ft.lbs of torque @ 4300 rpm, and fully-modular technology. All 740 and 900 series cars are automatic only. All cars had Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) added to the frame of the car for better safety in side impacts.

1993 - 740 base model becomes 940 base with the 940 dash and rear end (sedan only), but the front end styling of the 1992 740. GL model becomes "Option Package 1", and Turbo model becomes "Option package 2". Automatic locking differential standard on all 900 series cars. 940s with the B230F engine gained the AW70L transmission. 19.8 gallon tank standard on all 900 series cars.

1994 - lower prices on 940 base model. Optional glass moon roof on 900 series cars.

1995 - DRLs standard on U.S. models. Redesigned 960 model for better performance and softening of body lines. More upscale interior. 960 gains new rear suspension and body-color bumpers. Taillights redesigned on sedan and wagon. Engine loses 20 hp, but gains extra torque (camshaft change). 940s continue on unchanged, except for the DRL system. Last year of 940 series. New 2.5 liter I6 for 960 in Europe with 3-shaft 5-speed manual standard.

1996 - 960 wagon gains roof rails as standard equipment (painted to match car). No more 4-cylinder engine equipped cars in North America. Europe loses non-turbo B230F/E engines. B230GT only available on 940 series. Three transmissions available: AW71, M47, M90 on European 940T.

1997 - same as 1996

1998 - same as above, except that 960 is now called S/V90

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