All-new Volvo S80 in Scandinavian luxury packaging

0
8
  • Designed to express elegance, alertness and smooth movement
  • Super-slim centre console with refined design and smart functions
  • Flagship model powered by world’s most compact V8 engine
  • New 3.2 litre in-line six-cylinder expands engine range
  • Active chassis helps improve driving properties, whatever the situation
  • All-Wheel Drive distributes power in V8 to ensure optimal roadholding

Volvo Cars is presenting the second generation of the Volvo S80, the company’s large prestige sedan, this week at the Geneva Motor Show.

The all-new Volvo S80 is a luxury car with an elegant and dynamic profile influenced by modern Scandinavian design.

A high specification level and generous interior space allied to Volvo’s world-renowned seats and a wide range of intelligent functions combine to create a highly comfortable package with a solid aura of luxury.

The all-new Volvo S80 is the same overall length as its predecessor (4850 mm), but it is 27 mm wider and 34 mm taller. Its wheelbase is longer and the track is wider too. All told this makes for entirely different proportions, with a more impressive stance and greater presence on the road.

“Our design goal was that the all-new Volvo S80 should express elegance, alertness and smooth movement,” says Steve Mattin, design director at Volvo Cars. “We aimed to achieve this with more rounded shapes, higher haunches and more sweeping lines.”

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.”

Sweeping lines and enhanced Volvo character
In order to give the all-new Volvo S80 the right aura of elegance and a sensation of agile motion, the car has more sweeping lines than its predecessor did. The tapered shape with the gently rounded front, sloping glass, almost invisible transfer from rear window to boot panel and the abruptly vertical tail create a sensation of speed.

This has been further emphasised by the parallel profiles on the bonnet and the sweeping, clearly marked roof line which is created by two parallel lines. The elegant flowing lines are also aided by the C-posts, which have a visually slimmer appearance since the rear side windows are now framed by the rear doors. The entire side-glass panel is also framed by a chromed trim moulding.

“Although the all-new Volvo S80 is an entirely new car from the ground up, featuring an entirely new design, it is important that it should easily be identified as a Volvo,” says Mattin. “That is why we have emphasised many of those elements that help create the special Volvo character.”

The vertical radiator grille with its diagonal Volvo bar is there, further enhanced by being enlarged. The bonnet’s trademark V-shape has been extended all the way down to the spoiler. The tail lamps echo the design of the other cars in Volvo’s modern range, but their shape has been refined to create a somewhat lower profile that follows the broad shoulder line. LED lights at the top of the lamp units make it easy to identify the Volvo S80 from a long way behind, even in the dark.

Interior characterised by Scandinavian design influence
The inside of the all-new Volvo S80 reflects the elegant and luxurious exterior. It is characterised by clean surfaces, harmonious lines, exciting contrasts and smooth function – an expression of Scandinavian design tradition that helps create a dynamic and harmonious interior. The sweeping lines of the exterior are echoed in the car’s interior.

“Just look at the upper part of the instrument panel,” says Mattin. “To me it looks like an untouched snow-covered meadow. And that’s exactly what Scandinavian design is all about – inspiration from our natural surroundings.”

As in the exterior, the sweeping 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 characterises free-standing functions such as the ignition lock and air vents. And, as always in a Volvo, every detail has been meticulously designed in form and function and is optimally positioned to provide an ergonomic and comfortable driver’s environment. This is also an important prerequisite for safe, relaxed driving.

Volvo’s modern, super-slim centre console, which was first introduced in the smaller Volvo S40 and V50 models, is one the most visual items of proof of the high level of Volvo craftsmanship. In the S80, the centre console has been tailored to suit the more classic and exclusive interior design. The console has also been extended so that it stretches all the way to the rear seat and hosts a number of smart functions for storing and connecting accessory equipment, such as an iPod or electric cooling box.

Clean Zone Interior Package – a world-first
Volvo’s consideration also extends to the increasing number of people who suffer from over-sensitivity in various forms. Volvo is now launching its Clean Zone Interior Package, based on ECC (Electronic Climate Control) and IAQS (Interior Air Quality System).

When the car is unlocked via the remote control, the passenger compartment is automatically ventilated for about one minute if the outside temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius. The Clean Zone Interior Package provides interior air that has been approved by the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association.

The interior trim materials and components are selected to minimise emissions of harmful substances.

First Volvo sedan with V8 power
The all-new Volvo S80 is the first of Volvo’s sedan models to be powered by the compact, transversely mounted V8 engine that was first launched in the Volvo XC90. A unique design with a slim 60-degree angle between the cylinder banks makes this an extremely compact V8 engine.

By reversing the traditional offset of the cylinders and placing the left row ahead of the right, the engine has the optimum shape for fitting into the car’s body structure. Furthermore, the entire engine is made of aluminium, which results in low weight and good fuel economy. A counter-rotating balancer shaft contributes to the steady rhythm of the engine.

The V8 engine is immensely powerful. A large displacement of 4.4 litres, power output of 232 kW and no less than 440 Nm of torque provide the power and high-speed performance needed for particularly enthusiastic driving. There is a massive 370 Nm of torque available around 2 000 rpm – the most common rev range in everyday driving.

New six-cylinder in-line engine – two engines in one
Together with the all-new Volvo S80, Volvo Cars is launching an entirely new high-efficiency six-cylinder in-line engine. Its main structure is made of aluminium and has a larger displacement than its predecessor – 3.2 litres compared with the previous 2.9. Power output is 175 kW and torque is 320 Nm, corresponding to increases of 31 kW and 40 Nm respectively.

The new in-line engine features an advanced valvetrain and a variable intake system that contribute to both good performance and high fuel efficiency. Several innovative solutions have also made it possible to build the engine within extremely compact dimensions.

The valvetrain features VCT (Variable Cam Timing) and CPS (Cam Profile Switching) on the inlet side – two key elements in providing the engine with excellent driveability and flexibility.

With CPS (Cam Profile Switching) the intake valves can be lifted to two different heights depending on the engine speed and load.

In normal driving, with normal throttle opening and low engine revs, fuel consumption is modest at the same time that torque is sufficient to provide good driveability.

In more enthusiastic driving involving full throttle opening and high engine revolutions, the engine responds instantly to the accelerator and provides a massive thrust of power, both at low and at high speeds.

Like the V8 engine, the six-cylinder engine is mated to a six-speed automatic Geartronic transmission. It is engineered to handle the immense power produced by these engines. Geartronic allows the driver to change gears manually.

Active chassis with Four-C – and three choices
The all-new Volvo 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.

All-Wheel Drive
The V8 model of the all-new Volvo S80 is equipped with Volvo’s system for four-wheel drive – All-Wheel Drive. With the help of an electronically controlled hydraulic clutch, All-Wheel Drive distributes the power between the front and rear wheels to ensure optimal roadholding in various situations.

The latest version of the system features Instant Traction, which switches power from the front to the rear wheels at lightning speed when starting off on a slippery or loose surface.

The All-Wheel Drive system has been beefed up to handle the power from the powerful new engines.

Sophisticated network of interacting safety systems
The all-new Volvo S80 has been developed to make it one of the very safest cars in its class, with a sophisticated network of interacting safety systems.

The patented front structure absorbs energy effectively. The interior protection system has been developed further with a new generation of side impact airbags and whiplash protection.

The all-new Volvo S80 has been built to provide a high level of protection in various types of collision. Its extremely advanced body structure offers very high torsion rigidity and contributes to absorbing impact energy very effectively.

“Our patented front structure gives the all-new Volvo S80 a very high energy absorption capacity,” says Silvia Güllsdorf, S80 project director at Volvo Cars.

Deformation zones and different grades of steel
The patented front body structure in the all-new Volvo S80 has been divided into zones, each with a different task during the deformation process. The outer zones are responsible for most of the deformation. The closer the collision forces get to the passenger compartment the less the material deforms.

To give each zone the correct properties, the steel grades have been varied. Four different steel grades are used. Apart from conventional bodywork steel, three different grades of high-strength steel are used: High Strength Steel, Extra High Strength Steel and Ultra High Strength Steel.

“With the zone system we can make maximum use of the properties of the material to ensure the best energy absorption,” says Güllsdorf. “The aim is for the passenger compartment to be preserved predictably in various types of collision.”

Compact, transverse engines contribute to crash safety
As with other Volvo models, the all-new Volvo S80 has a transverse driveline and front-wheel drive. The transverse mounting gives the engine a greater deformation capacity in the engine compartment and contributes to reducing the risk of penetrating the passenger compartment in a frontal collision.

It has also been possible to mount the larger six- and eight-cylinder engines transversely in the new S80 thanks to an extremely compact format and effective packing in the engine compartment.

“There is a great deal of creativity and advanced engine technology behind these solutions,” says Güllsdorf. “Take the new six-cylinder in-line engine which we have succeeded in making almost as short as our five-cylinder engine.”

The 3.2 litre six-cylinder engine’s compact format has been achieved by locating the ancillaries, such as the Power Assisted Steering Pump and Air Conditioning Compressor, behind the engine in the space above the gearbox. Consequently, there is no front-end drive of the ancillaries. Instead they are driven via gears by the rear end of the crankshaft.

This engineering solution is known as READ – Rear End Ancillary Drive. The alternator is direct-driven and installed on the engine block. This solution means that the entire engine and transmission package takes up minimum space, particularly in the car’s longitudinal direction.

By designing the drive system in the form of a small gearbox with an intermediate shaft inside the driveshaft – known as a Shaft In Shaft design – it was possible to ensure a very short package. The two shafts are driven by different gears that give them different speeds (one speed for camshaft drive and one for the ancillaries).

Personal settings
The S80 driver has a wide range of possibilities for tailoring the car’s comfort features to his or her own needs and tastes. These parameters are set in the car’s information system. The menu covers features such as the seats, rear-view mirrors, climate unit, audio system, navigation and, to a certain extent, the car’s driving properties too.

One new choice is automatic start of the rear defroster. When this function is pre-selected, the defroster is activated whenever the temperature is about 9 degrees Celsius. Another example is speed-dependent power steering. It is an option and can be set at a choice of three different power assistance levels, selected via the information system.

“The wide adjustment scope contributes to the high comfort level of the new S80,” says Güllsdorf. “From the safety viewpoint, however, it is important that one does not spend too much time on the menu system while driving. In order to avoid distracting the driver’s attention from the road while driving, certain menu functions are blocked about 20 seconds after adjustment.

World-class audio system
The all-new Volvo S80 can be equipped with one of the best audio systems in the world, Volvo Premium Sound. A digital amplifier from Alpine with Bang & Olufsen PowerHouse ICEPower® technology, Dolby® Pro Logic II Surround and loudspeakers from Dynaudio® of Denmark give an audio experience of the very highest premium level. Volvo Premium Sound is described in greater detail in a separate press release.

The all-new Volvo S80 – dimensions (in comparison with the previous S80 model):

  • Length  4 850 mm   (4 850 mm)
  • Width  1 860 mm   (1 833 mm)
  • Height  1 488 mm   (1 454 mm)
  • Wheelbase     2 836 mm   (2 791 mm)
  • Track, front    1 588 mm   (1 582 mm)
  • Track, rear     1 585 mm   (1 560 mm)