The Dutch car factory VDL Nedcar will build battery modules for BMW. In 1987 that was still quite a car, namely a Volvo that you didn't want to encounter if you were driving too fast. This Volvo is characteristic of the 1980s, just like the following four cars that also came onto the market in 1987.
The Volvo we are talking about is the Volvo 440. It was also available as a police car. The model was used as a standard patrol car for both national and regional police in several countries, including the Netherlands. And the state police also drove Volvo 440s. You wouldn't want to encounter them if you didn't pay close attention to the speed limit on the highway.
Volvo presented the 440 as the successor to the still successful Volvo 300 series. It was developed by Daf and existed alongside the 440 for a while. The five-door hatchback was preceded by the coupe 480 and was later joined by the longer sedan 460. And with that the 400 series was complete. All three models were built in Born, Limburg, in the factory that is now called VDL Nedcar and which recently announced that it will produce battery modules for BMW.
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The Volvo 440 was created with the help of Renault. The French brand supplied the engines, but Porsche was also involved. The sports car brand developed the 120 hp turbo version of the 1.7-liter injection engine. The design of the 440 is by the Dutchman Peter van Kuilenburg, who worked in Volvo's design department and based it on the G4 concept car. And that was another design by head designer Jan Wilsgaard. A station wagon never came. That would only get in the way of the 240 and 740 Estate, according to Volvo.
As popular as the Volvo 440 was, it is not poster material. The Ferrari F40, which is also from 1987, is. Which teenager in the late 80s didn't have a poster of this Ferrari hanging above his bed? And if that wasn't the case, there was a scale model on the bedside table. The F40 was and is the ultimate super sports car. It is the last Ferrari developed under the inspiring leadership of grandmaster Enzo Ferrari.
Ferrari existed for exactly 40 years in 1987 and the F40 was the treat.
That doesn't mean the cars were handed out; it cost about 4 tons at the time. Which is still a pittance of what you now pay for a copy; For a used F40 you simply have to bring 1.5 million euros. Only more than 1300 were made.
You don't have to count on luxury and comfort; the F40 is a racing car for public roads. It does not have ABS, power steering or airbags and it also lacks a simple on-board computer. Strangely enough, it does have air conditioning, otherwise it would quickly become too hot in the cabin; the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 478 hp takes care of that. The top speed is still a staggering 324 km/h. This made the F40 the fastest production car of its time.
The design of the F40 is by Pininfarina. The Italian designer also designed the Alfa Romeo 164, which was also released in 1987. The sedan shared its platform with the Fiat Croma, Lancia Thema and Saab 9000. They appeared earlier, but in our opinion the Alfa is the most beautiful. Because the other three had front-wheel drive, the 164 logically also had that. That was a bit of a shock for the Alfisti, because until then it had a top model Alfa Romeo always rear wheel drive.
Of course, the Alfa Romeo 164 was available with the 3.0-liter V6 Busso engine. It produced a great sound and also looked beautiful with chrome intake pipes. The absolute top version was the Q4 (Quadrifoglio 4), with a more powerful version of this V6 and all-wheel drive.
Also Skoda said goodbye to rear-wheel drive in 1987. In addition, the new front-wheel drive Skoda Favorit had to put an end to the Eastern Bloc image of the Czech brand. In contrast to its outdated predecessor with rear-wheel drive and rear engine (the Skoda type 742, which was sold as Skoda 105 and 120, among others), the Favorit represented a major leap forward.
The angular body was designed by the Italian master designer Bertone. Later a station wagon and even a pick-up followed. It became clear that Skoda was suddenly taken a lot more seriously after the introduction of the Favorit. Skoda became part of the Volkswagen Group. The first result was the Felicia, in fact a sleek Favorit.
Pinanfarina had busy times in the late 1980s, because the Peugeot 405 was also created on its drawing board in Turin. The Peugeot 405 is the European Car of the Year with the highest number of points ever, namely 464. The Citroën AX followed at an appropriate distance with 252 points. Peugeot the 405 also delivered as a Break. Both the sedan and the station wagon were in great demand, partly thanks to the wide variety of petrol and diesel engines.
One of the nicest versions was the MI16 with over 150 hp, not to be confused with MI6, the British secret service that controls James Bond. And the T16 with 200 hp was also among the most coveted versions. In 1995, the 405 was succeeded in Europe by the 406, but it remained in production on other continents for a long time. In fact, it still runs off the production line in Azerbaijan in more or less unchanged form!
This post was last modified on October 15, 2023 5:23 am
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