Volvo Celebrates The 40th Anniversary of the 262C, Its Italian-Built Coupe

Volvo 262C turns 40 14 photos
Photo: Volvo
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The 2017 Geneva Motor Show has ended its press days, and the exhibit is now welcoming the general public. The event has made Volvo nostalgic, as the company has reminded everyone of a car that it launched four decades ago.
Back in 1977, at the Geneva Motor Show, Volvo introduced the 262 Coupe, which was something different than what the Swedish brand had launched until that moment. It was based on the 200 series, and it sold significantly better than the company expected.

As Volvo remarked, a 262 Coupe cost more than twice as much as the basic model in the 200 series, but the company sold 6,622 cars between 1977 and 1981.

Initially, Volvo wanted to build about 800 units per year, but it had to manufacture almost double each year, except for its maiden and last production years.

Volvo decided not to build the 262 Coupe in its factory in Gothenburg because of its small predicted numbers. Instead, the Swedish company commissioned the Italians at Carozzeria Bertone to complete the design and perform the final assembly of this model.

The 262 Coupe was first penned by Jan Wilsgaard, the chief designer of Volvo, who drew sketches for the shapes of this design. He used a Volvo 164 to do a mock-up of the interior, and then sent it to Turin, where the four-door body of the Volvo 264 was turned into a two-door named 262 Coupe.

Its engine was also built outside of Sweden, as it employed a PRV (joint-venture between Peugeot, Renault, and Volvo) 2.7-liter V6, which was later updated to a 2.8-liter during its production life.

Volvo’s 262 Coupe is the only model from this brand ever delivered from the factory with a roof that had vinyl over steel on its roof. This car was offered in a limited-edition cabriolet version, which only had five units manufactured.

The CEO of Volvo at the time, Pehr G. Gyllenhammar, had a specially-made 262C as a company car, which had a red interior and was also painted red. It came with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine instead of the V6, and its grille and body frames were matte black. Those features ended up on two production Volvo models in 1984.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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