Volvo 264 GLE

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Volvo 264 GLE

1976 - 1985
2664 cc
104 kW
3 spd. auto
Top Speed:
170 km/h
Number Built:
1 star
Although the 264 GLE retained all the traditional Volvo safety features, and incorporated some new ones, its unmistakable all-round class enabled it to avoid the tag of being a dull  “security cell” – leastwise it was boxy, safe and good looking.

Problems of overpricing did not apply as much to the GLE as other models down the range, its excellent finish and lavish standard equipment making it, by anybody's standard, a luxury car.

The fuel-injected 2.6-liter six-cylinder V engine was a reliable, though hardly startling, performer which meshed well with the three-speed automatic transmission. Maximum power was 104 kW at 5700 rpm with torque of 216 Nm at 3000 rpm, and the maximum speed was 170 km/h, while the 0-100 km/h sprint took a leisurely 15.2 seconds.

Fuel consumption was quite good for a big car, affording 12.6 liters/100 km for hard dirt-road going.

The suspension setup consisted of front struts with coil springs/telescopic dampers, lower wishbones, trailing links, and anti-roll bar, while at the rear was a live axle with coil springs, rubber-mounted control arms, and torque rods. The ride was comfortable and the 264 GLE would soak up the heavy going on secondary country roads, keeping axle tramp to an absolute minimum.

Volvo added to their safety conscious reputation by reducing the power assist to the very precise rack-and-pinion steering, thereby helping lessen the possibility of over-correction in case of an emergency.

The steering is reassuringly accurate at all speeds. Although not a design trendsetter, the 264 was pleasantly proportioned, and the distinctive diagonal on the grille gave it a high recognition factor. Inside, the firm high seats, adjustable in all directions, gave excellent visibility all round. The dash was laid out with all the instrumentation in front of the driver, with the switch gear in the centre console.

Standard fittings included alloy wheels, cassette player, laminated screen, rear and headlamp wash-wipers, central locking power windows, remote control exterior mirrors, and hazard warning lights. Fog-lamps, metallic spray, and a sun roof were available as options.

The boot space was excellent, and its hydraulic lift system prevented the lid from springing open even when not properly closed. Volvo research at the time stated that their typical buyer was getting younger, and did not regard the Volvo as being the 'blue rinse' vehicle it has so often been called. This may have been true, and the 264 GLE went a long way in changing the perceptions of the marque.

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Volvo History and Heritage
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