2002 S80 New Car Test Drive
Easily the best-looking Volvo in more than a generation, the flagship S80 is luxurious, roomy and safe. A pair of highly evolved six-cylinder engines deliver silky-smooth power to S80's front wheels. Inside as well as out, the S80 is welcoming, attractive and understated. The twin-turbocharged T6 version delivers outstanding acceleration.
Volvo designed the S80 to compete against the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6, Jaguar S-Type, Acura 3.5 RL, Cadillac Seville, Lexus GS, Lincoln LS and Saab 9-5. That's tough opposition, and a few of those cars offer significantly better handling. But the S80 compensates with its near-silent ride and unique look and personality.
The Volvo S80 is improved for 2002, with a revised navigation system, improved engine management, and enhanced traction control. The performance-oriented T6 now rides on 17-inch wheels, and all S80 models let the sun shine in through a now-standard power sunroof.
Volvo builds three versions of the S80.
The base-level S80 2.9 ($38,150) is powered by a 2.9-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 194 horsepower. It comes with everything associated with a premium luxury sedan, including leather seating surfaces, automatic air conditioning with dual controls, power windows, alloy wheels, anti-lock brakes and traction control.
The S80 T6 ($42,150) is equipped with twin turbochargers, boosting the output of that same 2.9-liter six to 272 horsepower. T6 also comes with lower-profile tires (P225/50HR17, in place of the 2.9's P225/55R16's). In both cases, the tires are Michelin MXM4's.
Both engines drive the front wheels through an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. But only the T6 has Volvo's Geartronic manual override.
New for 2002 is the T6 Executive ($49,950), whose rear compartment is re-configured for an additional two inches of legroom. Other rear-seat amenities include seat heaters, burl wood trim, console, refrigerator, 68-channel television, and DVD player. The T6 Executive can be recognized from outside by its body-color bumpers and side moldings.
An Elite Option Package ($1950) for the standard T6 includes most of the Executive's luxuries put passes on the refrigerator and television.
Also for 2002, Volvo has added a 75th Anniversary Edition model. The Volvo S80 75th Anniversary Edition made its North American debut at the New York International Automobile Show in March and went on sale in May 2002. Availability is limited to just 500 units. The model commemorates the first Volvo car ever produced, known as 'Jakob,' in 1927. The Anniversary Edition is based on the standard Volvo S80, but with several additional standard and available optional features, all designed to enhance passenger comfort, especially in the rear passenger area.
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