1983: Volvo 240 Diesel Goes 590 Miles on a Tank, Won’t Get to Valhalla for Many Years
Even after the Oldsmobile diesel V8 fiasco of the late 1970s, a small slice of American car buyers still proved willing to buy oil-burning cars during the early 1980s. Volvo began installing a Volkswagen-sourced diesel straight-six in the U.S.-market 240 for the 1980 model year, with sales continuing here through 1985. Here’s a full-page magazine advertisement for the 1983 Volvo 240 Diesel.
The 2.4-liter, naturally aspirated D24 engine made 80 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque in the ’83 Volvo 240, which made for leisurely acceleration and excellent fuel economy (the Volvo 760 could be had with a 106-horse turbodiesel that year). Thing was, gasoline prices began a massive plunge around that time, bottoming out in 1986, so the appeal of diesel to American Volvo shoppers faded with each passing week.
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