The 740 was intended to be a mid-size car that offered more style, performance, and luxury than the venerable 200 series. Volvo 740 wagon (US) In the U.S., the 740 was offered from 1985 to 1992 as a 4-door sedan (known internally as the 744) and a 5-door station wagon (known internally as the 745).
Production of the 740 ceased in 1992, though the engine, transmission, chassis, and other details lived on in the Volvo 940 (see below), which was essentially a re-skinned 740. Though out of production for close to 15 years, the majority of these cars are still on the road today, thanks to robust construction and engines known to run for hundreds of thousands of miles. In 1990 the 740 received a minor facelift with new composite headlamps and 780-style tail lights. In 1991, both the 740 and the newly introduced 940 received an updated dashboard, similar in appearance to the ones found in the 760.
The 740 remained mostly unchanged for the 1992 model year, and was phased out in 1993 in favour of the Volvo 940. Aside from styling, 1990 marked a number of mechanical improvements to the 740 series. The B230 motor received larger 13 mm connecting rods. The 740 Turbo switched from the Garrett T3-series turbocharger to the Mitsubishi TD04 series, offering quicker spool-up and better low-RPM boost at the expense of top-end performance. The fuel system was upgraded from Bosch LH-Jetronic 2.2 to 2.4 (in 1988 for naturally aspirated cars, 1990 for Turbo cars).
The newer fuel system offered onboard diagnostics, which are easily accessible from under the hood, and require no special equipment. In 1992, the final year for the 740, the mechanical engine cooling fan was replaced with an electric fan. In short, many of the mechanical lackings of the 1985-89 740s were ironed out in the 1990-92 model years. The 1990-92 Volvo 700-series cars may very well represent one of the most reliable 4-door passenger sedans of its era due to a limited number of engineering limitations and solid build quality. Trim levels were GL, GLE and GLT worldwide; Continental markets had some exceptions to this rule. The most interesting exception was perhaps the 740 Turbo 16v sold only in Italy. This car used the B204FT engine found also in the 780 on the same market and it came with some unusual extras such as the ECC from the 760.
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