This week we’re looking at the new for 2007 Volvo S80 from my associate Vince Bodiford’s point of view. Herewith, Vince’s edited review.
It first occurred to me while driving on a long stretch of desert roadway in Nevada. Much like what I said of the Volvo C70 being two cars in one – the all-new 2007 Volvo S80 is certainly three cars in one.
The first is an elegant European saloon, with comfortable soft ride, supple interior and light steering feel.
The second is a spirited luxury sport saloon with balanced chassis stiffness, responsive handling and quick throttle.
The third is a surprising luxury performance saloon – with the touch of a button, advanced chassis settings and heavy steering transforms that same elegant European saloon into an aggressive machine quite capable of keeping up with rivals Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and even the venerable Lexus GS. All at a much more attractive price in the newest styling package of the lot.
The all new Volvo S80 is the flagship of the Volvo sedan line, a completely new luxury car with elegant styling, two highly sophisticated new engine choices, a long list of breakthrough safety technologies and a premium driving experience – all packaged in an aura of ‘Scandinavian luxury.’
Volvo anticipates sales of about 50,000 new S80 cars annually. North America will be the largest market.
Parts – n/a
Assembly – Sweden
Class: – Large
Cars: – C70, S40, S60, S80, V50, V70, XC70 and XC90.
Handling & Performance:
All of Volvo’s V8’s are equipped with the electronically controlled All-Wheel-Drive, while the I6 S80 is front-wheel drive. Despite its relatively small size (4.4 liters), the V8 engine was first introduced in the 2006 Volvo XC90. It produces exemplary horsepower (311 bhp) and torque (325 lb. /ft.); with exceptional drivability (273 lb. /ft. of torque is available from 2000 rpm). With an extensive use of aluminum, the weight of the new engine is relatively quite low, which contributes to premium ride characteristics, handling and fuel economy.
The valve train features Variable Cam Timing (VCT) and Cam Profile Switching (CPS) to control valve lift and duration on the inlet side – two key elements in providing the engine with excellent flexibility. CPS determines valve lift; the VCT system controls duration over a wide range of operation.
With its clean, elegant lines and dynamic profile, the second generation Volvo S80 is the same overall length as its predecessor at 191 inches, but it is both slightly wider and taller. Its wheelbase is also longer and the track is wider. The generous interior space includes a wide range of intelligently designed functions, an ultra-slim centre console, one of the world’s best audio systems and a strong Scandinavian influence where every detail has been meticulously designed according to form and function.
The sweeping lines of the exterior are echoed in the car’s interior. As with the exterior, the accented contours are really two parallel lines that create a pronounced edge or profile. The same design language is found again in the door panels. Another consistent theme inside the car is the rectangular shape with rounded corners that characterizes freestanding functions such as the ignition lock and air vents. Every detail has been meticulously designed in form and function and is optimally positioned to provide an ergonomic and comfortable driver’s environment – an important prerequisite for safe, alert yet relaxed, driving.
All New Volvo S80 3.2 I6 priced from $38,705
All New Volvo S80 V8 priced from $47,350
‘Scandinavian luxury’, the company believes, is the opposite of traditional luxury. Rather than encouraging elitism based on cost and exclusivity, ‘Scandinavian luxury’ is a new, more human value derived from the combination of aesthetics and technology in a way that is inviting, intelligent and accessible. ‘Scandinavian luxury’ will appeal to individuals who value intelligent functionality and personal responsibility as well as aesthetics and prestige.
Cadillac STS $42-75,000, Mercedes Benz E-Class $51-85,000, Audi A6 $42-55,000, Jaguar S-Type $48-63,000, Saab 9-5 $34,370, Lexus GS $44-52,000, Acura RL $46-53,000.