Car Spotlight>> Not Your Average Volvo

Some cars have that X-Factor. They carry an aura of excitement that sets the heart racing and the blood pumping on sight or sound. Others have the impact of a beige curtain, Functional but far from exciting.

The Volvo 340 falls into this latter category. The baby of Volvo's 80s line up was always a car bought by your grandmother. Something nice and safe to get to the shops in. On closer inspection though, you find the Volvo 340 is quite a clever little car. For one it's rear-wheel drive, a great starting point for any car. It  uses a trans-axle set up a-la Porsche 944/928 and De Dion rear suspension so the car is not only light it's well balanced. The factory engine choices left a lot to be desired though, with the most powerful models only producing a little over 100bhp the performance of the standard cars could only be described as 'adequate' at best.

A light weight rear-wheel drive hatchback. This has not gone unnoticed with in the UK drift scene, with many people choosing the Volvo as a cheap starting point to learn to drift with.

I dropped into Driftmoto to have a look at Nev's latest protect, a Volvo 340 street car.

The last time I was at Driftmoto I was shooting their AE86 drift car. The Corolla has since been stripped down to a bare shell and is undergoing a major reconstruction (more on that at a later date) A close inspection of the Volvo reveals a fair few details of the AE86 finding a place in the Volvo project.

At first glance you would be forgiven for thinking this is a full on stripped out track car..

Especially looking through the door into the spartan cabin.

But all the stock items that make the car road legal are still in place and are all fully functioning. There is even a creature comfort or two.

Speakers set into the custom carbon fibre door cards …

… and an amp hidden under the seat. Well it is a street car after all.

One theme that runs throughout all the Driftmoto projects is Carbon fibre. Nev is a bit of a carbon junkie and always uses lashings of the magic weave. Can you ever have too much carbon? I don't think so.

75bhp is not a great starting point. So the standard 1.4 litre engine has been replaced with a 2 litre Renault F4R unit. Due to a strange partnership between Renault and Volvo it's a relatively straight forward swap.

On direct-to-head throttle bodies with ViPec management, power wise Nev is hoping for a little over 200bhp, with the car weighing in at around the 800kg mark it should make for an entertaining drive.

The running gear is all custom made. From the MKII Escort steering rack to the specially shortened Gaz coil overs – nothing is off the shelf.

It's the same story under the rear with a custom WATTS linkage installed.

Finishing off the look is a set of 13" Revolution rims.

The Driftmoto Volvo 340 is 95% finished at the moment, all the hard work has been completed just leaving a few tweaks here and there to complete the project. Stock body slammed on 13" rims I think this is about as good as a Volvo 340 is going to look. A very different Hot Hatch.




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pfff some day my 340 has to be as awesome as this one!!!


Cool... but I dont get how this gets tagged as a sleeper? Sleepers look pretty much stock with all the goodies hidden under the skin


Snap On e-brake handle is nice touch! Wow great Job on the carbon fab work as well.


We've had 2 of them.... Horrid pieces of poo they are. Spent more time getting repaired than on the road. The rear suspension actually gets less camber the more weight you put on it and the electrics are up to the calibre of Lucas in woefulness.

I could imagine them as a drifter though, as the back end always seemed heavier than the front, and was prone to spinning even when not trying to power out of a corner..


great piece of art, mine goes in that way,

good work dudes!!


Love the style and those tiny wheels!


Different, but I really like it. I t would look 10x better if it was that height in 15" rims instead though.


I think you need to reexplain that the theme is Street Cars & Sleepers not Sleepers driven on the street.


Never heard about this Volvo before (not this particular one), but I remember seeing one of them in my town; I had no idea that somebody has made a two door estate :D

This one in particular looks very good in my opinion.. quite a shtload of work behind it as well . . I really like it


sick! wish we had those in the states.


This is begging for an artsy photoshoot!


Definitely enough room for an LS1.


A nice little sleeper to terrorize others on the road. Nice!


I really do like the odd 340. I considered wanting one as a first car. :D


I must know what company makes those carbon seats!


Thanks in advance


any idea about the red car behind first picture?


These things have a DeDion rear axle but you still need to put a watts linkage on it? Does it come with a Panhard bar or some triangulated shit?


I love do play around with a 340/360 in the snow, really nice balance in the car.

But I would go for the 360 cause it has the red block Volvo engine. So engine swap is fairly easy with a real engine :P


Bra jobbat! xD as we say in swedish really nice 340 though parts for them are not being made any more if you need to repair them you have to go custom


finally.. the car i learned to drive in.. it was actually a Volvo 340DL, the colour was Aubergine. but it didn't look like this one does. - i love the usage of parts/engine from all over the place.. yes Volvo's are popping up on the drift scene and i think its a good thing. - praise is due for the work/time/effort that has gone into this car - respect! - love those rims too.


The seats are made by Reverie; i think the GTC model.

The Volvo looks awesome!



Reverie makes the seats, but they are expensive




what is that thing on the trunk that looks like an hydraulic pump stuck into the floor????

Kool car anyway. Japan eat my heart out. i always thought these shitty cars would make great project for this style.


This thing is epic


Hi there, can anyone let me know what tire is that?


Give this one a five cyl NA!

They have supposedly great balance to slide around. The gearbox is in the back.

There where a 4WD 340/360 (don`t remember) in rallycross..a widebody turbo beast.


You don't wanne see my bashed Volvo 340 DL 1.4 variomatic (belt driven automatic) with Renault-Super-5-Turbo-rims :). You can buy the 340 in Holland for 500-600 EUR in showroom state with 50-60000km. Mine is bashed on the whole rigth site, but I'm the second owner and it's really reliable, maybe it's because of the handchoke. Drives really good, but it's running not cheap 1:10. But with snow and rain it's play time!

Daf (the truckmanufacturer) has designed the car before Volvo bought the carunit from Daf. So it's Dutch design...well the design is ugly, but the car drives lovely!

Nice to see a pimped version.


This is awesome!......wish mine looked like this.


I never knew such a car existed, I love it, what a cool car even before all of the special ops parts! Nice feature, this is why i come here, crazy shit thats so damn cool. I would love to play with one of these, what a huge potential in that lightweight chassis! Rock on!


So wierd, that it's brilliant


The red 340 in the background is mine, it's in storage at the moment at nev's garage as it will be getting an engine swap soon for a rover 3.5 v8 :D

The silver tank at the back is an ally fuel tank :D

Have had a good look round this up close and sat in it as well. Every last detail is perfect.

Something I can only dream my red one could be.


The rear suspension is leaf spring as standard. This had got a totally custom 6 link set-up. In the boot theres the swirl pot and fuel pump. The tyres are 175/50/13 Yokohama's. Hope this helps, Thomas.......... :)


Anyone know the make of the seats/models, out of interest ?



"Hi there, can anyone let me know what tire is that?"

Yokohama a539


The red one in the background is mine. :)

Storing my 340 at Nev's place whilst I do an engine swap.

I've seen this car up close, it is so well put together. The build quality is astonishing!


What circus does this belong to? Needs real wheels and tires. BADLY..


Regardless of whether you prefer the term Sleeper or Q-car, the meaning is the same: a car that hides


Very nice...interesting choice of car. There are only a few these days on the road. Pretty cheap though...


very clean, Im thinking of buying a cheap starter driftcar to learn, i came across cheap 340s but I didnt like them very much, now after seeing this I can see it's potential and might reconsidder! cheers


iv got a clio 182 at the moment, and a 1986 capri 2.0 laser. Iv tried lookong for info on running a Renault F4R rwd but cant find anything on what gearbox, bellhousing or flywheel to use. Any info would be helpfull.


Very nice...interesting choice of car. There are only a few these days on the road