Volvo is coming off a bumper year for sales in Australia when shipments were up 37 percent. But the Swedish automaker isn't ready relax yet. Volvo has just released is the new flagship S80 luxury sedan, available with either a Yamaha designed and built 4.4-litre V8 petrol, a 3.2-litre straight six petrol or a 2.4-litre five cylinder diesel engine under the bonnet. Both five and six speed manual and automatic gearboxes are available on the diesel which returns between 6.4 L per 100 km / 36.8 mpg to 7.7 L per 100 km / 30.5 mpg combined cycle depending on the transmission.
By the time you get up to the six speed automatic only 4.4-litre V8 though, the consumption has blown out to 11.9 L per 100 km / 19.8 mpg on the combined cycle. Still, that's actually not too bad unless you spent most of your time in traffic in which case the city fuel consumption figure of 18 L per 100 km / 13.1 mpg would really start to bite.
The environment is a important factor with the distinctive looking new S80 - both yours inside the car as well as the greater Earth's outside.
Inside, an Interior Air Quality System monitors all incoming air to ensure that the passenger cabin is kept free of dust, particles and pollen. In addition, a Clean Zone Interior Package which has been approved by the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association is available for the chronic hay fever sufferers amongst us which automatically ventilates the passenger compartment for around a minute when the car is unlocked via remote control to flush impurities from the cabin.
Outside, the environment is catered for via the very impressive fact that the S80 is 85 percent recyclable. From the outside you will also be able to tell what's happening with the car via Volvo's Personal Car Communicator which uses radio frequencies to offer longer range, two-way interaction with the vehicle. When in range, you can check on whether the car is locked, unlocked, if the alarm is activated, and if it is, whether there is still someone left in the car via a heart beat sensor(!).
Analysis: A vast array of safety equipment is also available on the S80 as befits Volvo's heritage including blind spot warning system on the rear view mirrors, adaptive cruise control that keeps a measured distance from other vehicles using a radar system. Looks like a nice car with great features and performance that should keep the German auto makers honest. Top marks for being 85 percent recyclable!