• Nov 18th 2008 at 4:59PM
  • 29
Just like the long-wheelbase Audi A4L that debuted in China yesterday, Volvo has just rolled out a longer S80 with an extended wheelbase designed to suit Chinese premium car buyers' tastes. Unlike the Audi, we have a profile shot to show the extra length of the Volvo S80L. Volvo entered the Chinese market with its locally built S40 in 2006. Now it has made the decision to produce this market-specific version of the brand's flagship sedan in China, as well. The S80L gets stretched a full 14 cm (5.5 inches), and all of that extra space goes into the rear seat area. You have to wonder if these longer versions will eventually make their way into other markets.

One additional note: While most of the commenters on the Audi A4L post spent their time arguing about racism, stereotypes, average heights and nutrition, we want this one to be all about the car. So just to be clear, nobody was saying that all Chinese people are looking for additional height. We're sorry if some of you thought that was implied in the post. In fact, Chinese people apparently want extra length... in their premium cars. Get your minds out of the gutter.

[Source: Volvo]


Preview of Volvo S80L tailored for China

(Guangzhou, 18 Nov.) Volvo Car Corporation proudly presented the Volvo S80L at the 6th Guangzhou Motor Show in south China. The S80L, a long wheelbase version of the popular S80 sedan, has been locally tailored and specifically designed for the market in China. Furthermore, the Volvo S80L will be locally produced in China. The new design was unveiled by Dr. Alexander Klose, CEO of Volvo Car China, and marks the acceleration of its localization plan.

Volvo Cars has enjoyed stable growth since entering China. It released its first locally built model, the Volvo S40, in 2006, to better address the Chinese market and the particular demands of Chinese consumers. The valuable experience which followed the S40's success further enhanced Volvo's confidence in promoting a strategy of local manufacture.

"Therefore, Volvo made a decision to produce its flagship sedan, the S80, in China, with upgrades to suit the tastes of Chinese consumers' and to meet the increasing demand for premium cars in China," said Dr. Klose.

Throughout its long history, Volvo has made safety its core value. Eighty years' of refinement and the accumulation of meticulous car-making techniques has enabled Volvo's flagship S80 to attain a leading market position. With top-level safety, quality, and design, the S80 has consolidated Volvo's strength and status among luxury car brands, maintaining its unique competitive advantages within the fiercely competed Chinese luxury car market. The all-new long wheelbase S80L is expected to further enhance the perception of Volvo's premium among Chinese consumers.

Bigger Space, More Luxurious Appointments
The long wheelbase S80L is to be built at the CFMA Chongqing plant in China. And it is specially designed for Chinese consumers, with larger and more comfortable rear seat space. In addition, the S80L boasts top-level features and equipment. Volvo's world-leading innovative technology, guarantees premium appointments, a comfortable driving experience and unsurpassed safety. The S80L targets successful mature achievers who have a strong sense of responsibility for their families and the society.

Reflecting Volvo's Premium Quality, Technology and Safety
To ensure the success of S80L's local production in China, Volvo has done a huge amount of preparatory work. Before the project even kicked off, technical experts and senior executives from Volvo visited China many times to inspect local suppliers and ensure the quality of locally produced parts and components. They also issued concrete and detailed requirements for every part used by Volvo.

Since 2000, Volvo Cars Safety Centre in Sweden, which boasts the most advanced testing facility in the world, has conducted over 2,000 crash tests. Many of Volvo's leading preventive safety technologies were invented there, resulting in the S80 and S80L's top performance in comprehensive safety protection.

The S80 has enjoyed critical success, resulting in many international awards, cementing its position in the premium car sector. The S80L shares all the features and qualities of the S80 sedan and it exceeds its sibling by being 14 cm longer and all this extra length appears in the rear seat creating an outstanding comfort for the passengers. The popularity of the S80 sedan has set a solid foundation for the introduction of the S80L in China. Volvo believe S80L's world leading safety technology, premium quality, and luxurious design will give it powerful market competitiveness and win the S80L a significant share of the luxury car segment in China.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Does Ford sell the Town Car in China? I would think that's one American car that would wipe the happy off of every Euro quasi limo.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Chinese don't like Twon car, though it is big.However,Its design style doesn't fit asian or chinese.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why didn't Volvo engineer a long wheelbase'd EUCD platform for the V70 - they'd then have a properly commodious estate to rival the E-Class and a S80L for the King of Sweden and the Chinese market?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nope, no racism anywhere at all ;)
      • 6 Years Ago
      This should be the default config of the S80 in the US. The S40-S60-S80 spread needs to be wider.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm waiting for the long wheelbase Yaris.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is the decision to NOT bring the LWB S80 to the U.S. being made by Volvo, or Volvo's American marketing arm ?

      Isn't it the American marketing folks that dictate colors and option packages? Volvo, the company, just produces what the marketing folks tell them will sell in the U.S.

      I think the LWB S80 should be the standard S80 in the U.S. It certainly needs more separation from the S60. Difficult to tell apart without looking for the signage on the back.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There's a fundamental difference between China's car buying public and that of Europe or US'.

      In China, youngsters don't really drive, in wealthy cities like Shanghai or Beijing, most travel using public transports, the car buying public in China, regardless of segment, consists primarily of people in their 30s and above. Hence the segmenting of (e.g USA) A4 (winner of best college car in US - by some mag or whatever) works entirely different. Moreover, USA is the cheapest place in the Universe to buy cars. Hence in China, driving one calls for only one thing - status.

      If they introduce the LWB in Europe, car magazines will be all over crying out 'weird handling characteristics', 'unbalanced ride'. Whereas in flat cities like Beijing or Shanghai, people don't give a damn about handling, they just want their cars big, black, and they'll ask whether it comes with sunroof before they go around checking the number of airbags available.

      Talk about regional stuffs, Toyota is able to pull a David Blaine trick in Asia by introducing a 7 seater MPV that's using a pick up truck's chassis, taking away the central shaft, leaving the 7 seater having a stupid high ride height, RWD and with a 1.3 ltr engine, 1 airbag, all in a chassis that requires no crash tests to start selling in the market. Price? $23,000 USD - Now we're talking about profiteering.
      • 6 Years Ago
      THIS makes a lot more sense than the Audi A4L.
      By the way, how is the S80 bigger than the S60 if its platform (EUCD) is smaller than the S60's (D3) platform? The Ford Taurus (D3) is DEFINITELY bigger than the Ford Mondeo (EUCD).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now if they can only bring out a LWB version of the new 750iL.
      • 6 Years Ago
      you guys are missing a big point.
      Those cars have LWB because they are MADE IN CHINA.

      I rather have a regular european car that is made in germany/sweden or whereever they are from instead of one from China.

      While a lot of you may think those cars are still made by Audi/Volvo/Bmw whatever...you are not exactly right! They are made as joint venture b/w the manufacturers and chinese manufacturers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would like to say that long wheelbase cars are perfect for China due to the fact that they have no demographic differences from any other region in the world.

      I'm sure somebody will find something racist in that too.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As previously stated, the customer base for this car do not drive, they ride. As for why the rest of the world wont get the car, it's because it'll be produced in China by CFMA.
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