The refreshed Volvo S80 is the result of an intensive dialogue between Volvo Cars' project group and the discerning customers in the premium sedan segment. "We are ready to give the competition a tough match. With the new S80, we're placing the bar at the very highest level when it comes to exclusiveness, quality and driving properties," says Volvo Cars president and CEO Stephen Odell.
The refreshed Volvo S80 is being unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this week and is expected to reach showrooms in South Africa in the 3rd quarter of 2009.
Building on great success in key markets such as Russia, Volvo Cars' large sedan model takes centre stage with far greater self-assurance than ever, the result of a more distinctive and elegant design, a more exclusive interior and a sharper chassis and upgraded engine range.
"From the outside, the refreshed S80 looks both larger and more elegant. But we've also given it a tougher face. In Germany, they talk about the "böser blick", that is to say the front of the car should look rather menacing when it fills the rear-view mirror of the car in front," explains Volvo Cars design director Steve Mattin.
"However, the refreshed S80 should not just be seen, it has to be experienced. The atmosphere inside is both more comfortable and luxurious, with an increased aura of craftsmanship. We've also made the interior more driver-oriented, not least with a new steering wheel and upgraded instruments. Our chassis and engine experts have made sure the driving experience is as exclusively attractive as the interior is," says Mattin.
Detail precision and quality materials
Mattin and his team have increased the exterior's elegant charisma with a number of details that give the S80 a lower, longer and wider stance.
The front is more distinctive with a new grille featuring the larger iron mark, which is part of the more extrovert DNA of recent Volvo models. There is also new brightwork on the air intakes, lower part of the doors and under the tail lamps.
Inside the car the spotlight is on increased exclusivity and comfort. The soft, sumptuous leather seats with their matching stitching are accompanied by door panels echoing the same trim. The super-slim floating centre stack is upgraded with a silk metal frame that emphasises its original design and enhances its exclusive feel, while simultaneously creating a design link to the recently launched Volvo XC60.
The instruments in the refreshed Volvo S80 get exclusive aluminium dials and Volvo Cars is also launching a new generation of steering wheels. The décor trim with silk matte metal-effect finish on the four-spoke steering wheel is also found in the gear selector, around the starter button.
"It is the combination of a number of carefully thought-out details that together creates the overall aura. Since eight out of ten customers specify leather upholstery, the seats are a good example. Here we have focused on comfort by creating unbeatable seating and side support, accentuated further by the superb quality of the soft Scandinavian hide," says Mattin.
Customers with more individual tastes will be able to select upholstery from the exclusive Executive range, which features classic and sober styles.
All-new five-cylinder diesel engines and new chassis alternatives
The driving experience in the refreshed Volvo S80 has been elevated with an entirely new twin-turbo five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbodiesel. The new D5 engine offers 150 kW, 420 Nm of torque over a very wide range of engine revs.
Fuel consumption (EU combined) is only 6.2 litres/100 km (164 g/km CO2 emissions) - a record-low figure for a car of this size and performance level. This state-of-the-art engine delivers all the fun without the headache.
The refreshed S80 is also available with an upgraded Euro 4-compliant 2.4-litre diesel engine with 130 kW, 420 Nm of torque, fuel consumption (EU Combined) at 5.8 litres/100 km and CO2 emissions of 154 g/km (preliminary figures).
When it comes to chassis choice, Volvo Cars has developed two distinct alternatives - one with the cosseting feeling of supreme comfort and one truly dynamic for the driving pleasure soul. The comfort chassis will be offered as standard and the lowered sport chassis is offered as an option.
Hard to beat offer
The refreshed Volvo S80 enters a segment that is dominated by male customers with considerable interest in cars and with very firm expectations regarding exclusiveness, driving properties and brand image. The choice of car is often based on the individual's personal tastes and preferences, but it also has to serve as a family car.
"Customers in this segment are often very brand-loyal. In order to appear on the radar of customers currently driving competitor cars, we have to offer something that is truly extra. We do this by offering exclusiveness, comfort and driving properties of absolute top level. In combination with world-leading safety, this makes the refreshed S80 very hard to beat. A true lifestyle product," says Odell.
"I would like to give those who know about the Volvo S80 but who have never driven one, a sound piece of advice. Take a closer look at this car and take it out for a thorough test drive. You'll be amazed at what we have achieved."