• Jan 30th 2006 at 7:00AM
  • 56

Volvo's renaissance started with 1999's S80 flagship sedan, and the turnaround appears to have come full circle with its successor, seen here for the first time without camouflage. In what looks to be yet another premature press photo distribution leak, the good folks who frequent SwedeSpeed have provided us with an advance glimpse into Gothenburg's gurus latest... well ahead of the car's Geneva coming-out party.

The exterior is clearly evolutionary and couldn't be anything other than a Volvo, but this is hardly unfortunate. Up top, more aggressively raked glass, along with a sharkfin antenna presents a sportier roofline, and the S80's corners have been substantially radiused, with headlights and taillamps appearing to 'wrap around' the car's perimeter, neatly integrating the front end turn signal lens in the process. Side cladding has also been minimized for a cleaner profile, and subtle cues like the second set of inboard character lines on the hood and less timid exhaustwork afford the S80 a more energetic and dynamic look.

[Further exposé including 7 additional photos inside-and-out after the jump]

As is plainly visible in the interior shot below, the S40's lyrical 'floating' center console has been pressed into service, and is set to become a styling trademark for all future Volvos. The absence of a key slot of any kind appears to indicate that Volvo's gone ahead and made good on keyless drive, which in all likelihood will manifest itself as a variant of Volvo's Personal Communicator (VPC) a small handheld computer that monitors and adjusts certain vehicle settings (everything from unlocking doors to monitoring theft threats), an idea seen first on Volvo's Safety Concept Car of 2001.

Preliminary intelligence indicates that the S80 will hold down Volvo's top rung with a three-engine range, a standard 3.2L six-cylinder with around 240 hp, an optional (and much needed) eight-cylinder displacing about 4.4L and sporting circa 315 hp, and an available five-cylinder diesel with around 180 hp-- the latter of which doesn't appear to be slated for U.S. consumption.

As ever, expect the all manner of safety kit, from Volvo's Four-C active chassis system to an impact warning system, radar cruise-control with heads-up display, DSTC (Dynamic Stability Traction Control), airbags fitted to seemingly every flat surface, and bi-xenon headlamps with an adjustable beam to peak 'round corners. All-wheel drive with Volvo's Instant Traction system will be optional on V8 models.

Finally armed with the cylinder count to do battle with larger-engined competitors like the BMW 5-Series, Lexus GS300, the big Swede appears at once fresh and true-to-form. Now, bring on that S80R, already.

[Thanks for the tip, Barry]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      I own three Volvos now and have owned only Volvos since 1990. The S80 never had top market appeal with high price and low content. The addition of the V-8 is a good marketing move, and if the AWD and 4C work well, Volvo will only need to add a 6 or 7 speed paddle shifter, Brembo brakes and bump the HP to 350 to be a real player in this segment. Oh, and Volvo don't even think of a i-drive system and buyers will flock to showrooms.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Yes, Citroen DS-19, from A-D pillars. Back to the future.
      • 9 Years Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'm very disappointed with the new S80. Volvo based their mk1 S80 design on the old S40 and now have looked to the S60 for 2 box design instead of 3. Infact it just looks like an oversized S60. The front is boring too and doesn't look like a particular luxury or executive car. Volvo have played is safe here. Not daring enough. Shame on you Volvo!
      • 9 Years Ago
      looks clean, nice.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I sent you guys this last thursday or friday AM....what I get no love for my incredible "tipster" abilities. FOR SHAME!!!

      Oh, and maybe the rear quarter shot sorta reminds me of a BMW 3-Series but the front is all Volvo (vis S40 style) so forget your Audi/BMW styling comments about that and the rear matches perfectly with the new C70 thats about to hit showroom floors so it firms up the brand image even more ;-)
      • 9 Years Ago
      Never mind.
      When you go to swede speed's forum thread on this topic which you have to dig for the top two photos at the time I went were photoshopped and these images here were underneath. And the phrasing of the photoshopped images made it sound like all of them were. Sorry.
      And the fact that swede speed did not put up the HQ images themselves made it seem really fishy. Also why would someone photoshop two images to make it look exactly like the real thing? ie it had the same chrome line on back, same headlights, same color etc.
      Thats all. Thats what happens when you run leaked images and no one knows where they came from.
      • 9 Years Ago
      i just traded my 11 yr old 860 for a lincoln ls, i miss my volvo already.
      • 9 Years Ago
      R&T reports this beautiful car (should have been a RWD!) does NOT have an engine temperature gauge. Can that be true?
      • 9 Years Ago
      I smell some German in this car...cough...BMW
      • 9 Years Ago
      so two are photoshopped and not real and the others aren't and you expect everyone to pick between them and know this?
      Argh. And once again readers ruin the experience of the AB. Thanks for the friendly explanation.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Audi up front - no doubt

      The rear bumper's built-up sides look like the current Saab
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