As a belated successor to the 1800ES, the quirky 480ES echoed its predecessor’s frameless glass hatchback but, from the front, looked like no Volvo before. The design was a dramatic and sleek wedge with pop-up headlamps and a tiny Volvo-badged grille hiding under the front bumper. Front-wheel-drive was a first for the marque and there were faddish features such as door pillar-mounted locks and an electronic information centre. 1721cc and 1998cc engines featured and there was a turbocharged version from 1989. An oddball in the Volvo canon but an intriguing creation.
Price at launch:
Independent, MacPherson strut, coil spring
Watt linkage, Panhard rod, coil spring, anti-roll bar
rack and pinion