1999 S80 New Car Test Drive
Think safety. Now think cars. No doubt the image of a boxy road tank is lumbering through your head, replete with an immaculately coifed soccer mom behind the wheel and 2.2 well-mannered kids buckled securely in the back seat.
And the boxy road tank is a Volvo.
The traditionally stolid automaker hopes to change that image with its new S80. Not completely, mind you. After all, Volvo is quick to point out that the S80 is the safest car it has ever built. And with its abundance of safety features, it's a difficult claim to argue.
In addition to dual front airbags, the S80 has specially designed headrests that reduce whiplash in a rear collision by 'cupping' the front passengers, buffeting their contact with the seats. Inflatable window curtains, as well as side air bags, protect the head and torso in a side impact. And all S80s come equipped with antilock brakes and traction control.
But Volvo wants us to believe that its flagship sedan can be super safe -- and a little sexy -- at the same time. Volvo? Sexy? Sure, in a sophisticated sort of way, of course. One look is all you'll need to be convinced.