2007 S80 New Car Test Drive
With the introduction of the all-new S80 at the top of the range, Volvo makes one giant leap for Swedish automotive history with its first V8-powered luxury sedan.
Yes, it's the same, exact V8 engine that powers the much larger and heavier XC90 SUV, but with a thousand pounds of weight taken off its narrow little 60-degree shoulders, the transversely mounted 4.4-liter V8 becomes a real performer. To manage that much power, the V8 comes with the proven Volvo Haldex computer-controlled all-wheel-drive system.
The V8 engine installation is certainly the biggest single news item about this car, but there's also a completely new 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine for those customers who don't want or need monster torque. The new six-cylinder, the largest inline-6 Volvo has ever built, is rated at 236 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, great leaps above the old 2.9-liter engine. Unlike the V8, the I6 will be available with front-wheel drive as well as all-wheel drive.
The chassis, body and interior are brand new from stem to stern for the 2007 model year, blended into a careful evolution of what Volvo calls a Scandinavian luxury car, an evolution best understood and appreciated when the old car and the new car are parked side-by-side.
As you would expect, the S80 is absolutely packed with safety equipment, building on its worldwide reputation with more still safety systems, from the interesting and talented new key fob out to the structure and the chassis systems.
The all-new S80 is designed to compete directly against such market favorites as the Acura RL, the Infiniti M35 and M45, the Lexus GS, the Audi A6, the BMW 5 Series, and the Mercedes E-Class. The S80 has moved a bit more upscale and is priced higher than before, but the new car has more standard equipment and more powerful engines.
The 2007 Volvo S80 is available with the V8 engine and all-wheel drive, with the six-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, or with the six-cylinder and all-wheel drive.
Option packages for the S80 include the Sport package with 18-inch alloy wheels and 245/40R18 tires and speed-sensitive steering with three-way adjustable steering effort. An audio upgrade includes a six-CD changer, MP3 player, auxiliary input and USB. Other options include satellite navigation with remote control, adaptive cruise control, front and rear park assist, dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, run-flat tires, pearl or metallic paint.
The safety package on the S80 is simply world-class, from the patented body structure to the ABS, traction control, yaw control; front airbags; the new dual-chamber side airbags, with one chamber for the hips and one for the chest; radar adaptive cruise control that can brake the car without driver action; the collision warning system with pre-braking: and the new optional BLIS or blind-spot information system that senses vehicles in the right and left blind spots and delivers a warning if there's something there. The headlamps are now active xenon lamps that follow the road around curves. Also included in the safety roster is the Personal Car Communicator, a new electronic key fob design that can lock or unlock the car from distances up to 110 yards, and can tell you what state the locks are in. It can activate the alarm, and can sense the presence of a human heartbeat inside the car. A traffic distance warning system on top of the dash triggers a flashing red light and an audible warning, both of which can be defeated by the driver if desired.