Made to replace Volvo's 700 series, the 900 series was a range of executive cars that were manufactured from 1990 to 1998. One of the cars that belong to this line is the 960--a car that introduced Volvo's new breed of modular engines. Compared to the 1995 model, the 960 arguably had improved handling. It also had ample head and legroom, adequate cargo space, and it features Volvo's Side Impact Protection System, which helps protect passengers in during impact. To know more about this vehicle, here's a quick timeline on the short, few years of the Volvo 960 from its inception in 1990 to its end in 1998.
1990: The autumn launch
Replacing the 760, the Volvo 960 was first introduced to the market in the autumn of 1990 right in time for a 1991 model year release. They were built in Sweden and they featured the design of Peter Horbury--a British car designer who is currently Volvo's Vice President for Design. Compared to the 760, the 960 was equipped with an aluminum 24-valve DOHC inline six-cylinder engine. In the Volvo community, this bare, aluminum engine is often referred to as the "white block."
1992: DOHC inline six-cylinder engine comes to U.S.
The DOHC inline six-cylinder engine reached the U.S. market in the 1992 year model of the vehicle. On the other hand, Italian and Portuguese users got to enjoy a 16v 2L turbo engine until 1993. Other 960s were also furnished with a 2.3L turbo Redblock four engine while others were powered by the D24TIC that was created by Volkswagen. The most noticeable upgrade during this year was changes in the seats and the redesigned seatbelts. The seats became shapelier while the seatbelt featured new hydraulic pretensioners.
1993-1994: Ergonomics and safety
With incremental changes for its first few years, 1993 and 1994 were all about upgrades in terms of ergonomics and safety. The 1993 model was equipped with a more ergonomic shifter, which made driving the 960 easier. On the other hand, some 960 models were furnished with dual front airbags the following year. The original opaque sunroof of the car was also replaced with a sliding sunshade and glass window, which made drivers and their passengers more comfortable. It was also in 1994 when the emissions regulations of the U.S. were modified, so the 3L engine of the 960 was tuned for more torque to comply. During this time, the 960 Executive was also released and it was basically a stretched version of the base model. After that, the 960 Royale was also made available and it featured leather interiors from French fashion brand Hermes.
1995-1998: An end of a good run
Towards the end of its production, the 960 underwent minor makeovers in its exteriors, interiors, and under the hood. One of the most memorable ones was the addition of the electronically controlled Aisin AW-series automatic transmission for US models. The production of the Volvo 960 and its derivatives officially ended in February 1998.