Published on April 2nd, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Volvo 780 Coupe Celebrates 31 Years


This very rare and limited in production Volvo 780 coupe by Bertone is celebrating its 31st birthday this month. It was in March 1985 that the Swedish automaker debuted the 700-series-based coupe at the Geneva Motor Show the latest collaboration between Volvo and the legendary Italian carrozzeria.

Goodyear eagle 650x85(DSF)

Designed to combine Italian elegance and Swedish engineering, the 780 premiered on the heels of two other Bertone collaborations: the 262C coupe and the 264TE limousine. Unlike the 262C, the 780 was a blank sheet design despite looking like a four-door 740 sedan, the 780 featured a completely new design that, while maintaining a distinct family resemblance to its sedan and wagon counterparts, shared no body components. It rode on a 109.1-inch wheelbase and stretched to 188.7 inches in length; its 55.1-inch height was fractionally lower than that of the 760 that donated its mechanical components, but didn’t compromise headroom to the degree of its rakish predecessor.


It was Nuccio Bertone who was tasked with designing an Italian suit for the somewhat uptight Swedish sedan with American proportions. And just like the 700-series sedan and wagon, the 780 coupe was aimed at the American market. Bertone was responsible for the assembly of all the cars, so completed rolling chassis would be shipped from Gothenburg to Italy for the assembly.

Template BHP

As the 780 was meant to be a halo car for the range, it received a luxurious interior complete with hardwood accents, while just about every moving component from the seats to the sunroof was powered. The 780 was badged simply as the Volvo Coupe by 1990.

“With the 780, we can offer an elegant car that is ideal for long journeys, incorporating a personal design, exclusive component solutions and a unique range of engines with the emphasis on comfort,” said Volvo Car Corporation’s Marketing Director Carleric Häggström about the 780 at the time.


The 780 was offered with a total of four different engines in most markets. The 150hp 2.8-liter V6 was the top offering at first, though Volvo also sold the 780 with petrol inline-fours in 2.0-liter and 2.3-liter form, and also offered a Volkswagen turbodiesel engine, a 2.4-liter inline-six. There would be a few small changes through the years, as Volvo replaced the rigid rear axle with a multi-link rear suspension for the 1988 model year and kept squeezing more power out of the turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four.


In total, 8,518 cars would roll off the line between 1985 and 1990, with the U.S. receiving a large chunk of the total production. Today we are wondering if there are any Volvo 780’s in Malaysia. We have not seen one, have you?


Technical Specifications Volvo 780
Produced: 1985 – 1990
Volume: 8,518
Body: 2-door coupé
Engine: 4-cylinder in-line DOHC 1,986cc or 2,316cc OHC, V6 OHC 2,849cc, or 6-cylinder in-line 2,383cc Turbo Diesel
Transmission: 4-speed manual with electrical overdrive or 4-speed automatic
Brakes: Hydraulic, disc brakes all round
Dimensions: Overall length 479.4 cm wheelbase 277 cm

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