2007 Volvo S80: First V8 Volvo Sedan

by : Glady Reign

In 1998, Volvo added the S80 to their lineup as their entry to the midsize luxury car market. During that time, the S80 immediately became a standout in its class in terms of performance and design.

It then became one of the first Volvos to have departed from the traditional boxy design that Volvo vehicles are known for. The luxury car is also aimed to attract the attention of more car buyers. Its predecessor, the Volvo 960, throughout its lifespan, has only managed to become a best seller among Volvo enthusiasts. The Volvo S80 though has managed to increase the buyer base of Volvo by offering them something new and different from the Swedish brand.

The only problem that the S80 faced in its first generation is the question of power. While most cars in its class offer huge eight or six cylinder engines, the first generation Volvo S80 only offered a choice between a five-cylinder and a six-cylinder engine.

In an effort to increase power of the relatively smaller engines, Volvo equipped them with turbochargers. This increased their engines power output but are still not in the same league as Volvo's competition. For the 2007 model year though, Volvo made a move that became a first for them.

The second generation of Volvo S80s are now equipped with V8 unit to match the power output of rival cars. That step made the S80 the first Volvo sedan to be equipped with a V8 engine. The 3.2-liter V8 engine available for the 2007 S80 sedan is capable of producing as much as 235 units of horsepower. The engine is the same used by Volvo in the award-winning XC90 but is much smaller.

The exterior design of the first and second generation S80 looks similar and no hint of major redesign can be seen at first glance. But if one looks closely, the first generation looks boxier than the new generation S80. The hood of the 2007 Volvo S80 slopes more than the hood of its predecessors. From the outside, the Volvo S80 looks simple but it has that aura of luxury which one can surely experience inside the S80.

In what Volvo calls the "Scandinavian luxury", the cockpit of the S80 reflects simple yet functional and luxurious design cues. Aside from the interior styling, the control units of some of the S80's features are also simple to operate thus making them convenient for consumers. The seats offer good side and back support which gives one a feeling of comfort even if he or she is strapped to the vehicle's seats for an extended trip. For families, the S80 offers good storage capacity. The trunk is spacious and the rear seats can be folded to provide more space for cargoes. The entertainment system is superb with an MP3-capable six-CD changer which can connect to external audio players. The push button engine start feature is also one of the more technologically advanced features that the S80 employs.

And since the S80 is a Volvo, one can expect that it will be loaded with safety features. The S80 is built around a unibody structure which gives the occupants relative safety during crashes. Materials used in the construction of the S80 differ in strength. Those which are far from passengers are not as strong as those near the passengers. This is specifically designed to absorb more energy in the event of a crash. Other safety features includes the adaptive cruise control, the BLIS or the Blind Spot Information System, the Personal Car Communicator, and adaptive bi-xenon headlights. The increased power output of the engine also needs a good braking system. The Volvo S80 is thus equipped with large ventilated disc brakes on all wheels. It is also equipped with an anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution. The S80 is not only safe for its passengers but also for the environment, thanks to the it is equipped with.