Cars & Bikes
Swedish car makers’ latest, Volvo S 80, is handsome,
almost bordering on the masculine, yet able to appeal
to a woman’s fancy
Scandinavian Luxury! Don’t know if there is such a genre but I can say that the makers of Volvo S80 have been touting it as a representative of the same. The flagship sedan combines traditional Volvo lines with high-tech safety features typical of Swedish car makers. Volvo says Scandinavian luxury is accessible, elegant and intelligent, without being elitist. Luxury needs to be asserted and identified when your competitors include the BMW 5 Series, Lexus GS and Infiniti M35/M45!
The Volvo S80 is a slick, modern, pretty but understated, quick and powerful sedan with solid performance. Available with a 236 hp 3.2-litre inline six-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, a 4.4-litre V8 engine and all-wheel drive, or with a new T6 281 hp turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six and all-wheel drive, the second generation Volvo S80 is more luxurious than the previous models. It has won awards in best mid-size luxury sedan interior.
Its front end has taken on a curvier, sleeker appearance and a slightly sportier profile than the first generation, sold from 1999 through 2006. The new S80 (ex-showroom price Rs 41,00,000) is based on the Ford EUCD platform, also used for vehicles like Ford’s S-MAX, Mondeo and Galaxy large MPVs. Some of these Ford vehicles, whilst sharing this platform, and some parts, are distinctly different from each other. Volvo vehicles on this platform tend to use more high-tech parts and expensive underpinnings.
Though the same length as its predecessor, it is slightly wider and taller. The wheelbase is also longer. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard across all trims, with 18-inchers optional.
Known for its spaciousness, the new S80 has increased legroom in both the front and rear
seats. Ventilated seats with heating and cooling capabilities are optional.
The S80’s centre controls sit on a thin metal panel pioneered in the S40 compact sedan. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard. Every S80 will have an auxiliary input for an MP3 player. Other standard features include leather upholstery, a moon roof and eight-way power seats. A premium Dolby Pro Logic surround-sound system is optional.
For 2008, the S80 offers a turbocharged sixcylinder that slot between the 235-horsepower, non-turbo six-cylinder and 311-hp V-8. It makes 295 hp. All-wheel drive is standard with the V-8 and turbo six-cylinder; the base six-cylinder has front-wheel drive.
The other relatively new safety feature is a collision warning system that alerts you when a car ahead of you has slowed down and a collision is imminent. A row of red lights illuminate in front of the driver, right at the edge of the dashboard. The lights reflect off the windshield.
Engine size and type: 3.2 litre 1-6
Engine horsepower: 236 at 6,200 rpm
Engine Torque: 236 at 3,200 rpm
Transmission: Six speed w/OD
Length: 191.0 inches
Width: 73.3 inches
Wheelbase: 111.6 inches
Height: 58.8 inches
Max seating capacity: Five
Max cargo volume: 14.9 cu ft
Weight: 2150 kgs and type: 3.2 litre 1-6
Available also with a new safety innovation called Blind Spot Information System (BLIS, first seen in Volvo S40) it senses when a person enters the driver’s blind spot and Active Bi-Xenon Lights (ABL) illuminate around curves in the dark. Volvo is known for making historic strides in intuitive new safety systems. BLIS system has been recently introduced in Mercedes- Benz higher specifications cars, nearly two years after Volvo.
The improvements over the previous generation are very noticeable. It is handsome, almost bordering on the masculine. Yet it’s able to appeal to a woman’s fancy. The headlights are more angled than ever before; it’s just a subtle difference, but adds to the overall appearance. But the rear continues to be as unexciting as its earlier versions. The dash flows into the instrument panel, creating an organic wave. The gauges are real metal with electronic readouts in the centre, and the analog needles run on an inner ring
The S80 comes with lots of buttons assisting you to turn on the air, stereo, safety features and more with a simple push; there are no complicated menus for simple tasks, just buttons. In short, a real luxury car! The materials all soft to the touch; the leather plush and the seats ultra comfortable. After all this, can one have the cheek to ask for more?