Mid-Engined Volvo 242 Turbo “Tetris Racer” Has All the Digital Downforce

With new car designs appearing to struggle to avoid commonalities these days, more and more enthusiasts turn to old-school models when seeking the next base for their builds, be these made of metal or pixels. And you can’t go wrong with the Volvo 242 Turbo portrayed in this mental rendering, which is the car many enthusiasts ages 30 and up think about when the name of the Swedish brand is mentioned.

As Volvophiles will remind you, Volvo tasked Italian design house Bertone with building a 262C, a chopped-roof, raked-windscreen proposal that became the company’s first luxury coupe. But this CGI build is based on the more widespread 240, which was also the car that made a name for itself in the racing arena.

Technically, the aero monster portrayed here, which seems ready to face any sort of competitor following its comprehensive revamp, is a Volvo 242. And, that’s because Volvo introduced the 200 series in 1974 using a rather simple nomenclature that might seem confusing at first.

Volvo’s smart nomenclature

The last of the three numbers used by these Volvos, which were built through 1994, showed the number of doors, while the second indicated how many cylinders the engine had. So, initially, you had the 242 coupe, 244 sedan and 245 wagon, together with their six-cylinder counterparts (262, 264 and 265), which used the same bodies. However, as the reach of the model expanded across multiple continents, production included, and the Swedes kept updating the range, the said naming scheme lost its accuracy.

The 240 Turbo entered service in 1980, with its B21ET 2.1L turbo-four becoming the first turbocharged engine in the carmaker’s history. Nowadays, the 155 hp output of the engine might seem models, but back then the number, which nearly matched the output of the six-cylinder range-topper, was more than enough.

And while other automakers used turbocharged engines for racing and sporty road car applications, Volvo put this to work on a car that cemented its reputation as a safe, reliable and comfortable vehicle producer. That’s not to say the Turbo skipped motorsport duties. Moving from the domestic Turbo Cup that Volvo held into international Group A racing, the machine, grabbed victories in DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters), ETCC (European Touring Car Championship) and even at Pikes Peak.

The massive downforce is only half the job

Digital artist Al Yasid (@al.yasid) built a downforce devil around the boxy nature of the vehicle. And, since he mentions a certain brick placement game in the description of the Instagram post below, we chose to nickname the project “Tetris Racer”.

The lower front apron and especially the overfenders are a touch more streamlined compared to the overall styling, but they seem to fit just right.

However, the extreme nature of this dreamy built is truly revealed at the back, where the fender-lined wing sits atop a cutout area that seems to expose the newfound mid-engined configuration of the vehicle.

In fact, in an earlier version of the work, Yasid mentions the Porsche 917 racecar that served as an inspiration (you can easily recognize the lower posterior of the German track tool here). For the record, the 917, which dominated prototype racing in the late early 70s (it was born in 1969), continues to inspire real-world builds to this day, with Ken Block’s 2022 Pikes Peak weapon, the 1,400 hp Hoonipigasus Porsche 911 being the latest example of this.

So, whether you have memories of being taken to school in one of these Volvos or simply adore retro machines, you can enjoy this older form of the project in the second Insta post below—the aero is the same, but the car is all in one color.



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