- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 2, 2010

Building on great success in key markets, Volvo Cars’ large and exclusive sedan model - Volvo’s 2011 improved S80 - takes centre stage with far greater self-assurance than ever, the result of a more distinctive and elegant design, a more exclusive interior, a sharper chassis and upgraded engine range.

The atmosphere inside is both more comfortable and luxurious, with an increased aura of craftsmanship. The chassis and engine experts have made sure the driving experience is as exclusively attractive as the interior is. With the Executive version as well as R-design and the special long wheel-based S80L specially produced for the Chinese market is the Volvo S80 a real premium sedan.

On the outside the Volvo S80 gives a long, wide and broad impression. The grille’s larger iron mark and the new bright work (on the air intakes, the doors’ lower parts and below the tail lamps) enhance the car’s distinctive impression and give the front added presence.

The headlamps, which are positioned lower than on the earliest S80 models, follow the curvature of the front and are extended along the side and up towards the bonnet, creating a gentle smile at the front.

The doors are convex and pronounced in shape. They include the rearmost side window. The sills have a distinct profile, creating a visually low centre of gravity and imparting a steady and stable appearance.

In order to give the Volvo S80 the right aura of elegance and create an image of being in constant motion, the car has sweeping lines with a comet-shaped profile, an almost imperceptible transition between the rear window and the boot and a cut-off tail section.

The S80 Executive model represents a very competitive alternative for customers who value refined Scandinavian elegance in combination with contemporary engineering - and who are looking for that little extra to enhance the experience. They are car purchasers with strict demands for a sober design, sophisticated comfort and intelligently designed functions and details.

Inside the car the spotlight is on increased exclusivity and comfort. The soft, sumptuous leather seats with matching stitching are accompanied by door panels echoing the same trim.

The super-slim floating centre stack is upgraded with a silk metal frame that emphasizes its original design and enhances its exclusive feel.

The instruments in the refreshed Volvo S80 get exclusive aluminum dials and the new generation of steering wheels. The decor trim with silk matte metal-effect finish on the four-spoke steering wheel is also found in the gear selector, around the starter button.

Since eight out of ten customers specify leather upholstery, Volvo Cars’ designers have focused on comfort by creating unbeatable seating and side support, accentuated further by the superb quality of the soft Scandinavian hide.

Customers with more individual tastes will be able to select upholstery from the exclusive Executive range, which features classic and sober styles.

If the car is equipped with power front seats, they can be optionally specified with upholstery in perforated and ventilated leather. Fans in the seat cushion quickly reduce cushion temperature to a pleasant level and contribute to high seating comfort. The rear seat splits and folds. The front passenger seat backrest can also be folded.

Sun blinds for the rear doors are available as an option.

The Volvo S80 has a new sports chassis that is a more dynamic alternative to the comfort-enhancing standard chassis, which offers limousine ride comfort. Customers thus have the opportunity to tailor their cars to suit their wishes - for inspired and enthusiastic driving or relaxed long-distance comfort.

In order to meet the wishes of S80 customers more interested in an enthusiastic driving style, Volvo has made the chassis far more rigid than before. The car has been lowered 20 millimeters at the front and 15 millimeters at the rear. This not only results in a more stable chassis, it also carves out a more powerful and compact visual profile for the car.

The springs are shorter and firmer. The shock absorbers have greater damping ability, on both compression and extension strokes. All the mountings on the sub-frame have harder bushings.

The anti-roll bars have also been made firmer to give increased side stability in curves. This results in crisp steering feel and good control, particularly in more active driving. This is further aided by the steering gear that has been tailored to provide quicker response and increased feel, giving more direct contact with the tires and road surface.

In order to provide additional stability, the sports chassis is fitted with automatic leveling as standard. It keeps the car’s body parallel with the road surface whatever the driving conditions, both when fully loaded and with only the driver on board.

In parallel with the development of the new sports chassis, the standard chassis has been given a distinctly more comfortable feel than before, with somewhat softer springs and less damping. It is designed to offer long-distance ride comfort of absolute limousine quality, not least in the rear seat.

The car can be optionally specified with an active chassis based on Volvo’s Four-C technology. It is an advanced self-regulating chassis system that uses a number of sensors to continuously monitor the car’s behavior. The dampers are adjusted to suit the current driving conditions in mere fractions of a second.

DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) is standard. This is a stability-enhancing system that when necessary reduces engine torque and applies carefully calculated braking power to reduce the risk of a skid.

The 315 horsepower V8 engine features Volvo’s electronically controlled All-Wheel Drive. An active chassis is available as an option, contributing to the car’s highly dynamic driving characteristics.

The Volvo S80 also comes with upgraded petrol engines. The six-cylinder, turbocharged T6 has a displacement of 3.0 liters and it now offers even sharper performance, thanks mainly to a reduction in internal friction. As in the all-new S60, it now offers 304 hp and no less than 440 Nm of torque. Maximum torque is achieved between 2100 and 4200 revs. This results in rapid acceleration and smooth driving properties. All-Wheel Drive is fitted as standard.

The six-cylinder 3.2-litre naturally aspirated engine has also been upgraded and features an improved crankshaft and less internal friction. It now offers 243 hp and maximum torque is 320 Nm. In order to meet US legislative requirements, there is also a PZEV (Partial Zero Emission Vehicle) variant that produces 231 hp and 300 Nm.

The new four-cylinder 2.0 GTDi (Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection) engine has a displacement of two liters and produces a generous 203 hp, with 300 Nm of torque available from 1750 rpm.

There will also be a five-cylinder petrol engine as an alternative. It is fitted with a light-pressure turbocharger and produces 231 hp.

The Volvo S80 can also be specified with the high-performance D5 engine that produces 205 horsepower and 420 Nm of torque.

The new five-cylinder 2-litre turbo diesel introduced in the all-new Volvo S60 is now available throughout Volvo Cars’ model range. The new five-cylinder D3 is in principle the same engine as the well-established 2.4-litre diesel, but its displacement has been reduced with a shorter stroke to optimize fuel consumption.

The injection system has a different type of piezoelectric fuel injector compared with the D5 engine. These injectors minimize consumption with exceptionally rapid and precise injection pulses under high pressure. This promotes extremely efficient combustion.

In order to give the car better driving properties, the turbocharger has been fine-tuned to provide high torque from low revs.

In the Volvo S80 the newly developed 2-litre diesel engine produces 163 hp and 400 Nm of torque.

Flexi fuel variants of the Volvo S80 are available on certain markets. The five-cylinder 2.5-litre turbocharged Flexi fuel engine 2.5FThas a power output of 231 hp and the 2-litre four-cylinder 2.0F produces 145 hp.

There is also a manual DRIVe diesel enginethat has a power output of 109 hp and only emits 119 CO2/km and has a fuel consumption of 4.5 l/100 km.

The patented front body structure is divided into zones, each of which has a different task during the deformation sequence. 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.

In order to give each zone the right properties, different grades of steel are used in different structures, a total of four different grades. Apart from regular body steel, three different grades of high-tensile steel are used: High Strength Steel, Extra High Strength Steel and Ultra High Strength Steel.

To optimize side-impact protection, the body’s entire side structure features a well-balanced combination of high-tensile steel of different grades (High Strength Steel, Extra High Strength Steel and the extremely strong Ultra High Strength Steel). The various components and grades of steel interact to minimize penetration into the passenger compartment. The aim is instead to get the entire car to move sideways - away from the colliding vehicle.

Volvo’s system for avoiding neck injuries - WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System) - is one of the most effective on the market. In the event of a rear-end collision the front seat backrest accompanies the passenger’s initial body movement and dampens the incoming force rather like one’s hand does when catching a ball.

The all-new features a further-developed generation of WHIPS to ensure that the damping motion is gentle and to provide good contact between the head and head restraint throughout the impact sequence.

Rear impacts represent a third of all reported accidents - and in more than 50 percent of these accidents, the driver does not brake at all.

Collision Warning with Auto Brake is a refined warning system that initially warns the driver and pre-charges the brakes. The brakes are automatically activated if the driver does not act when a rear-end collision with a moving or stationary vehicle is imminent.

Driver Alert Control alerts the driver when his or her concentration level is affected, for instance during long journeys. Driver Alert Control monitors the car’s movements and assesses whether the vehicle is being driven in a controlled or uncontrolled way.

Lane Departure Warning is activated via a button in the centre stack and it alerts the driver with a gentle warning sound if the car crosses one of the road markings without an obvious reason such as use of the turn indicator.

The Volvo S80 is also equipped with BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) and IDIS (Intelligent Driver Information System), two innovations that help the driver maintain better control over the traffic situation. BLIS registers if another vehicle is in the offset rear blind spot alongside the car and alerts the driver via a visual signal. IDIS helps stop the driver being distracted by non-essential information in pressing situations, for instance by delaying incoming phone calls or text messages.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) continually monitors the gap to the vehicles in front and automatically adjusts the car’s speed to ensure that this gap does not shrink too much.

In order to contribute to the best possible visibility during night-time driving on curving and twisting roads, the car can be equipped with Active Bending Lights - swiveling headlamps that follow the sweeps and bends of the road.By using the Dual Xenon light technology it give a 90 per cent boost to the driver’s vision round bends at night. The Dual Xenon gas discharge lamps expand the vision range at nights by about 230 per cent. This means the driver can gain a further 45 meters for braking.

Volvo S80s with the High Performance or Premium Sound systems are equipped with a USB port, making it easy to attach an iPod, other MP3 players or even a digital camera to the audio system.

High Performance and Premium Sound levels have an HD (digital) radio function as standard. In some European countries the Premium Sound and High Performance audio systems can be supplemented with DAB-radio (Digital Audio Broadcast). This function makes it possible to listen to radio broadcasts with CD quality.

The Volvo On Callis Volvo Cars’ roadside assistance and emergency service andcan now be combined with the Bluetooth mobile phone service. With Volvo On Call it is now even possible to activate the cabin heater remotely via SMS text messaging.

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