Volvo has released the first details of its all new S80 saloon prior to its world debut at the 76th International Motor Show in Geneva (2-12 March).
The S80 is the largest of Volvo’s S-range of saloons and this second generation S80 offers a competitive alternative to the dominant, German luxury saloon rivals thanks to its own distinctive Scandinavian style, combined with excellent ride and handling characteristics benchmarked against the class leaders.
“We are convinced that the all new Volvo S80 will be a very strong contender in its class and win over many new customers considering the other popular premium brand rivals. We expect to sell 50,000 new S80s a year around the world, of which 70 per cent will be new Volvo customers,” says Frederik Arp, Volvo Cars CEO. “The main markets for the all new S80 will be the USA, Germany, Spain, Sweden, UK and China,” he continued.
At its launch in 1998 the first generation S80 heralded a bold new design direction for Volvo, which still looks modern today, but now Volvo’s designers have carefully and cleverly evolved Volvo design language to be more youthful and dynamic as well as introducing new Volvo safety technology and powerful new engines – including Volvo’s V8 (315bhp), available with AWD (All Wheel Drive).
“The all new S80 is about evolutionary design,” says Steve Mattin, Volvo Cars design director. “All the shapes and materials it uses represent a continuous development of the Volvo design language. We have given the all new S80 a more youthful and dynamic stance, and created an even more inviting atmosphere by using refined materials and colours that blend smoothly with smart, user-friendly technology,” he continued.
New safety technology for the all new S80 includes a unique Personal Car Communicator (PCC) and new active safety systems – Collision Warning and Brake Support – with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), active Bi-Xenon headlights and a patented body structure developed at the award winning Volvo Safety Centre.
Personal Car Communicator (PCC): The new S80 includes an optional key fob offering ‘keyless drive’ and incorporating a world first innovation – the Personal Car Communicator (PCC) which features intelligent technology to remotely check if the car is locked or not, alert you if the alarm has been activated, and a heartbeat sensor which warns if there is anyone in the car.
Collision Warning and Brake Support: The Collision Warning system alerts the driver, via a ‘heads-up’ warning display on the windscreen plus audible buzzer, if the gap to the car in front closes so fast that a collision is likely, while the Brake Support system boosts the braking force to ensure braking is as effective as possible.
The new active Bi-Xenon headlights improve the driver’s visibility at night by turning the beam of the headlights in the direction the steering wheel is being turned.
The all new Volvo S80’s ‘Scandinavian Luxury’ differs from the traditional, or Teutonic, luxury offered by the majority of the other premium brands. Instead, Volvo’s ‘Scandinavian Luxury’ radiates a simpler, more stylish and modern feel by combining aesthetics and technology in a more inviting and intelligent way.
The interior design offers a distinctive blend of intelligent, elegant and unpretentious Scandinavian style with a slim ‘floating’ centre stack, luxury materials for upholsteries and a choice of inlays and colour schemes that blend smoothly together.
Volvo’s Premium Sound audio system for the all new S80 will include 5x130W D-class digital ICE power amplifiers from Alpine, Dolby Pro Logic II Surround Sound and Dynaudio speakers to create the finest, high quality audio system.
The two new engines available for the all new S80 will be Volvo’s V8 petrol engine, offering 315bhp and 440Nm of torque, which will be combined with AWD (All Wheel Drive) with Instant Traction for maximum traction and driving pleasure. Four catalytic converters and advanced electronics also make it one of the cleanest V8 engines available.
The second engine will be a completely new, naturally aspirated 3.2-litre six-cylinder unit delivering 235bhp with 300Nm of torque and like all Volvos will be fitted transversely to provide maximum space and improved crash performance with more space to absorb any impact.
The new engine was designed by Volvo and will be built at the Ford group engine plant in Bridgend, Wales alongside six and eight-cylinder units for other PAG brands, such as Jaguar and Land Rover. Despite being a six-cylinder unit, it has been designed to be more compact than Volvo’s five-cylinder engines thanks to the camshaft drive mechanism and ancillaries being relocated and integrated into the engine block itself.
In addition, two of Volvo’s five-cylinder engines will be carried over from the current S80 – the 200bhp 2.5T petrol unit with 320Nm of torque and the latest D5 (185bhp) turbo diesel with 400Nm of torque.
Extensive testing and development of the all new S80’s driving dynamics has been undertaken in demanding and extreme conditions around the world – including the UK. Excellent handling characteristics and driving pleasure have been achieved by benchmarking it against the highest standards of the well known leaders in the premium large saloon class.
Advanced technology in the new S80 includes the options of Volvo’s active ‘Four-C’ chassis with three settings which constantly adjusts chassis settings to suit driving conditions and preferred driving styles, plus servotronic steering offering variable steering torque. In addition, there will be All Wheel Drive with Instant Traction (initially with the V8 engine) and all models will have DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control).