Safety is Tattooed on Volvo

By: Glady Reign

Direct from the founders of Volvo is the philosophy: "An automobile is driven by people. Safety is and must be the basic principle in all design work." Enthusiasts love stunning cars. They love how they make them feel, look and enhance their own attractiveness. Before, they oftentimes forget to consider safety as the primordial concern in purchasing vehicles. But with the passage of time, customers have learned to seize their chance to get the best of the automotive industry's offers.

These days, the maxim in the auto industry should be "safety sells." This is because safety has become gorgeous and quite so important in time. With a growing population of baby boomers having families of their own, and with individuals spending more and more time on the road, awareness about vehicle safety has heightened radically in the past decade or so. As a result, automakers are now battling it out with each other over the "safety leader" crown.

"Safety is tattooed on our brains," said Kari-Johan Ekman, the chief vehicle engineer at Volvo, "But a sporty driving experience is higher on Volvo's agenda now than it was a few years ago." Those two facts taken together explain the split personality of the new Volvo S80 sedan with the Four-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept). The latter is an electronically-controlled shock absorber system that can adjust shock rigidity on to provide the best of both "comfort" and "sport" modes with just a push on a button.

"With a normal chassis you must make a compromise between comfort and sportiness, but with Four-C you can have both. You can tighten up the car and add extra flavors to the handling by controlling oversteer and understeer," noted Ekman. Krister Broo, the program manager for chassis, further explained, "When you start with a car that is comfortable to drive you are less likely to get into an accident in the first place."

Last month, the automaker unveiled images of the second generation Volvo S80. At first glance, it can be ascertained that all the features of the car were significantly upgraded. The new version of the Volvo S80 which is based on the EUCD platform is equipped with a new 3.2 L straight-6 or 4.4 L V8 engine and works with a great combination of the available four-wheel drive.

The second-generation Volvo S80 which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last year is Volvo's first sedan to become available with a transversely fitted V8 engine that produces 315 horsepower and 440 nm of torque. With four catalytic converters and advanced electronics, the Volvo V8 is one of the cleanest of its kind in the market.

To stand by its safety philosophy, the all-new Volvo S80 will be offering a Personal Car Communicator (PCC) remote control as an optional feature. The new feature allows drivers to review the security level of the car and ascertain whether the alarm is set and the door is locked, even before he gets into the car. In addition, the heartbeat sensor feature gives warning if someone is hiding inside the vehicle. The feature is engineered to blend with Volvo's new telematics system.

The All-new Volvo S80 is also the very first to use the Adaptive cruise control (ACC) with Collision Warning and Brake Support (CWBS). It will also be using the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) which is capable of detecting a person when he enters the driver's blind spot. To illuminate and go around curves in the dark, Volvo equipped the car with Active Bi-Xenon Lights (ABL) to further give illumination on the dark road ahead.

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