Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures


Body style:

VOLVO 343   1976 1982
1976 1982

Volvo introduced the 343 model in 1976 as an entry-level vehicle for the Swedish carmaker, even though it was not precisely a Volvo.
At the beginning of the ’70s, Volvo approached the Dutch company DAF to buy their car division, which was unsuccessful. Despite its technological achievements, it was on the brink of extinction. DAF agreed and, in 1975, Volvo bought three-quarter stakes of its neighboring carmaker. When it purchased it, it discovered Project P900, which had to replace the DAF66. Volvo took over the project and enhanced and launched it in the following year as the Volvo 343.

It was easy to see that Volvo’s department did not design the car. It looked strange, with two doors and a hatchback styling. The angular shapes were typical for all carmakers, but Volvo sharpened the lines even further. It also added specific bumpers, crumple zones, steel beams in the doors, and a B-pillar safety arch.

Inside, the flat dashboard sported a classic instrument cluster for a Volvo, with two dials for the speedometer and tachometer, a few gauges, and an array of warning lamps. An unusual swiveling front seatback made an easier way for the rear passengers.

The car featured a transaxle system with the engine at the front and the gearbox at the rear for better weight distribution. When it bought the DAF car division, Volvo acquired its technologies, including the Variamatic automatic gearbox, a Continuously Variable Transmission with rubber bands.

Full Description and Technical Specifications

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