All-new Volvo S80 challenges class leaders with Scandinavian luxury

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  • Aesthetics and technology in an inviting and intelligent way
  • New V8 and in-line 6-cylinder engines
  • Cruise Control with Collision Warning and Brake Support

A new competitor is about to enter the luxury sedan car market in South Africa – combining Scandinavian luxury with a dynamic design language, firm focus on high comfort, smooth driving properties and world-class safety.

A four-wheel drive V8 and an entirely new in-line six-cylinder are other aces in the bid to attract the most demanding car buyers with Volvo Car South Africa’s all-new S80 which is previewed at Auto Africa 2006.

“The new S80 is entering an immensely tough sector where the competition is razor-sharp and the customers have very high expectations. We are now challenging the best in the segment with a very special car,” says Fredrik Arp, president and CEO of the Volvo Car Corporation..

“It radiates what we call ‘Scandinavian Luxury’ – clean and elegant lines and intelligent functionality where every single detail has been designed with the user’s well-being in mind.”

Inviting and intelligent
According to Volvo, Scandinavian Luxury radiates a different, more human prestige by combining aesthetics and technology in an inviting and intelligent way.

Scandinavian Luxury differs from traditional luxury, which bases its appeal on being elitist, expensive and excluding.

In the all-new Volvo S80, this is expressed through simple yet elegant design, technology that gives the user practical benefit or sheer enjoyment in every single detail – and a sense of responsibility in the form of world-class safety and environmental care.

“The new S80 is about evolutionary design. All the shapes and materials represent a continuous development of our design language,” says Volvo Cars’ design director Steve Mattin.

“On the outside we have given the S80 a more compact, youthful and dynamic stance. Inside we have created an even more inviting atmosphere with refined materials and colours that blend smoothly with smart, user-friendly technology.”

Solid and compact
Volvo’s modern car models have a design featuring pronounced curvature at the corners to create a dynamic and compact impression and to reduce the risk of injuries to pedestrians. The new Volvo S80 is no exception.

The entire front is gently rounded, without any pronounced corners. The bonnet too has more emphasised curvature and a higher profile to provide added pedestrian protection.

The headlamps, which sit lower down than in the previous S80 model, follow the curvature of the front and stretch way out on the side and up towards the bonnet. “A bit like a smile,” comments Mattin. “It helps give the car a positive expression.”

The doors too are more rounded. The previous inward curve of the door panels has been replaced with a convex, more powerful profile. At the same time, the haunches are both higher and broader, reinforcing the solid and robust nature of the car’s design. What is more, the sills have a more pronounced profile that visually lowers the car and gives it a stable, self-assured stance.

“The solid appearance gives the car an air of authority and dignity,” says Mattin. “It also makes the car feel safe and reassuring to ride in.”

New V8 and in-line 6-cylinder engines
The second-generation S80 is the first sedan model to become available with Volvo’s compact, transversely fitted V8 with a power output of 232 kW and 440 Nm of torque. With four catalytic converters and advanced electronics, this engine, which was first introduced in the Volvo XC90, is one of the cleanest V8s on the market.

The all-new S80 also showcases the introduction of an entirely new naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine, a unit so compact that it is about the same size as Volvo’s five-cylinder engines. It can be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission since the camshaft drive mechanism and the ancillaries have been relocated and partially integrated into the engine block itself.

The new in-line six-cylinder engine has a displacement of 3.2 litres and produces 176 kW. The maximum torque of 320 Nm provides rapid acceleration. The compact new Volvo-designed six-cylinder engine has a main structure made entirely of aluminium, and the complete engine package is only 3 mm longer than Volvo’s five-cylinder engine. The total engine length is 625 mm.

The engine has been designed to be mated to Volvo’s new six-speed automatic transmission. The entire driveline has been designed together with the rest of the car to create a harmonious, high-class driving experience in every respect.

The engine range also includes a five-cylinder 2,5 litre turbo with 147 kW and 300 Nm of torque, as well as the latest generation of Volvo’s in-house developed five-cylinder turbodiesel with 136 kW and 400 Nm of torque.

All-Wheel Drive with V8
Volvo’s largest sedan model is available with All-Wheel Drive, which is standard equipment in the version with the new V8 engine. A DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) system is a standard feature in all derivatives, giving the Volvo S80 outstanding active safety measures in the most demanding road conditions.

The S80 with a V8 or in-line six-cylinder engine can be optionally specified with an active chassis based on Volvo’s Four-C technology. This is an advanced self-adjusting chassis system that uses a number of sensors to continuously monitor the car’s behaviour. The dampers can readjust to the current driving situation in a mere fraction of a second.

Four-C modifies the chassis setting to suit the car’s speed. The higher the speed, the greater the damping. As a result, the technology helps to control the car even at high speeds. This technology also reduces the car’s tendency to squat, dip or roll under firm acceleration, hard braking or fast steering manoeuvres.

“The active chassis adds an extra dimension to driving pleasure,” says Silvia Güllsdorf, S80 project director at Volvo Cars. “The driving properties improve whatever the situation. Progress is both safer and more entertaining.”

The system has been further developed from the previous S80 model and now offers three alternative chassis settings instead of the previous two. The driver simply presses a button to alter the car’s personality to suit his or her personal tastes:

  • COMFORT makes for sedate progress with gentle, harmonious body movements;
  • SPORT provides more controlled body movements, faster steering response and added road contact; and
  • ADVANCED minimises damper movement and maximises contact between the tyres and road surface – the setting for enthusiastic driving on smooth tarmac.

In an emergency situation, however, it makes no difference which alternative the driver has selected. Four-C always reacts to help the driver out of the situation – by automatically stabilising the car.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning
The safety level is world-class. Among the features are a further developed and patented structure and new active safety systems.

The all-new S80 is the first Volvo model to feature Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning and Brake Support.

This system encompasses two functions:

  • The adaptive cruise control automatically maintains a selected distance to the vehicle in front.
  • If the adaptive cruise control is not being used and the gap to the vehicle in front closes so fast that a collision is likely, the system alerts the driver by activating a buzzer and warning lights. At the same time, the brake system is prepared for the situation to make braking more effective.

The new S80 has active Bi-Xenon headlights that turn the beam of light in the direction of the bending road to provide the best possible visibility.

The advanced PCC (Personal Car Communicator) remote control unit is a world first. PCC features a number of intelligent functions. Even before the driver gets to the car, he or she can check the security level, for example if the car is locked or whether the alarm has been activated. A heartbeat sensor warns if someone is hiding inside the car.

World-class audio system
With the help of the most outstanding audio manufacturers in the world, Volvo Cars has developed a first-class sound system for its new prestige model. Digital amplifier from Alpine, Dolby Pro Logic II Surround and first-class loudspeakers from Denmark’s Dynaudio provide an audio experience of absolute world-leading standard.

“This car offers excellent prerequisites for high-class sound reproduction,” says Silvia Güllsdorf, S80 Project Director at Volvo Cars. “High-quality materials, a well-dimensioned interior and effective sound-damping materials contribute to a particularly favourable audio environment. And our audio systems are among the very best available in the automotive world.”

Digital technology contributes to natural sound profile
The very latest advances in digital technology have been used to control and tailor audio reproduction to suit the shape of the passenger compartment and the location of the loudspeakers. With the help of DSP (Digital Signal Processing) the tone curve has been fine-tuned to create authentic sound quality.

Digital technology is also used in Volvo’s modern amplifier, which has been developed together with Alpine. A digital class D amplifier has very low current consumption allied to a very high efficiency rating. This means it produces less heat than an analogue amplifier – and it can be made more compact.

Volvo’s amplifier also has a very high attenuation rate, thanks to ICEPower® technology from Danish experts Bang & Olufsen PowerHouse. This system contributes to the clear and powerful sound all the way down to the deepest bass tones.

Plays MP3 format
With the High Performance and Premium Sound systems, it is now possible to play CDs with music in MP3 or WMA format. This means that the CD changer can store several hundred music tracks and give the driver access to large parts of his or her music library in the car. Furthermore, all the audio systems now feature an extra input (AUX) for connection of additional equipment such as a portable MP3 or IPod player.

In order to further enhance radio reception quality, the FM radio has no less than three aerials that interact with each other to provide the best possible reception in a system known as Scanning Diversity.

Wireless handsfree with Bluetooth and a mobile phone
In the all-new Volvo S80 it will be possible to use a regular mobile phone in combination with the car’s loudspeakers – entirely wireless – courtesy of the new Bluetooth® function. After Bluetooth has been activated, the car’s phone module detects and registers the mobile phone and automatically links it to the car’s own system.

After that, it operates as part of the integrated hands free system. SMS text messages and other information texts can be read in the car’s information display and incoming phone calls automatically mute the sound from the radio or CD player.

With Bluetooth and a regular mobile phone, you always have access to the same phone directory. And you never need to switch between several SIM cards. What is more, several phones can easily be linked to the same network so that everyone using the car can have his or her own phone connected, although only one at a time is prioritised for automatic activation.

 “We are convinced that the all-new Volvo S80 will be a very strong contender that will win over many new customers. We expect 70% of the average volume of 50 000 cars a year to be purchased by customers who do not drive a Volvo today,” says Arp.