The sedan market is a jungle full of competent and aggressive contenders. Although it is not really one of the mainstream choices, the Volvo S80 is considered to be one of the 'fittest' options that were fortunate enough to survive the stiff competition in the sedan market. The S80 is regarded as the largest among all the sedan offerings of the Swedish car company. This mid-size wonder boasts of its world-class luxury, top-notch performance, and unmatched safety and protection features, which are definitely the reasons why the Volvo S80 spawned two successful generations.
Excellent since day one: first generation (1998-2006)
Since its debut in 1998, the Volvo S80 has been known to be one of the most advanced vehicles in terms of its safety features and technological innovations. Aside from the fact that it is very spacious, its latest GPS navigation system, top-of-the-line interior upholstery, and excellent audio and entertainment systems provide its passengers the luxurious and comfortable driving experience they expect from all Volvo vehicles. The original S80 takes pride in its safety features, which include the Whiplash and Side Impact Protection Systems.
Built on the P2 platform, the Volvo S80 was initially offered in four powerful engine variants. The engine options include the 2.5-liter Turbocharged Direct Injection diesel engine from Volkswagen, the 2.4-liter five-cylinder engine, the 2.9-liter six-cylinder engine, and the T6 engine. The 2.4-liter engine was also offered in an LPG and CNG version. Because of the unique transverse mounting of the S80's straight-six engine, Volvo developed its own manual gearbox known as the M65.
Originally, the S80 was offered in a front-wheel drive system. When the year 2000 came, a 2.5-liter T engine was offered with an all-wheel drive system as an option. Volvo's premier sedan offering received its first major makeover in 2003 for the 2004 model year as it underwent interior and exterior modifications, which was highly evident in its redesigned grille and fascia.
Number one in safety: second generation (2006-Present)
The second generation Volvo S80 took its top-notch safety and protection features from the original model and improved it further for the succeeding model years. The company's efforts paid off as the S80 received the IIHS Top Safety Pick Award in overall safety protection for the year 2007. The following year, the pride of Volvo sedans bagged yet another Top Safety Award from the same institution. These prestigious recognitions can be attributed to the Volvo S80's world-class safety systems like the new Adaptive Cruise Control, Ready Alert Brakes, Collision Warning and Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning, and Blind Spot Information System.
The latest S80 models also received new engine variants like the 4.4-liter V8 engine with a four-wheel drive option and the 3.2-liter straight-six engine. Aside from the new safety features and engine range, it also received the Personal Car Communicator remote control as an option as well as the latest Ford EUCD P24 platform. The first ever Volvo sedan to bear the compact and transversely fitted V8 engine with 311 horsepower, the S80 also features a boron steel material for its four catalytic converters.
The upscale variant and the future of S80
The luxurious S80 has been modified and used many times as official state cars, limousines, and ambulances. One of the most high-profile customers of the Volvo S80 is the King of Sweden. In addition to the abovementioned versions, a long-wheelbase variant was also built by the Volvo division in China. This 2011 limousine version is called the Volvo S80L.
This first-class tradition of Volvo S80's elegance, superior performance, and safety is continued through the 2012 model, which is proudly equipped with the latest Active Bending Lights, Intelligent Driver Information System, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Anti-submarining protection, Inflatable curtain, and many others.