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 Volvo S80 is only midsize in dimensions, which means it can seat four adults comfortably but doesn’t have yards of legroom to spare. It has about the same footprint as the Acura RL, the competitor it most closely resembles in personality and performance.
Volvo sells three versions of the S80. The entry-level S80 3.2 is front-wheel drive and is motivated by a 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder rated for 235 horsepower. Drawing upon the services of a six-speed automatic transmission, the 3.2 moves the S80 along adequately in most situations.
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 205 horsepower, 420 Nm of torque over a very wide range of engine revs. Fuel consumption (EU combined) is only 6.2 l/100 km (164g/km) – 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.
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.
Volvo offered the S80 with three different engines, two of them turbocharged. The most interesting of these was the T6, a twin-turbo inline six-cylinder rated for 268 horsepower. (Initially, the T6 displaced 2.8 liters; in 2002, Volvo enlarged it to 2.9 liters with no change in output.) Volvo claimed a 6.8-second 0-60 time for the S80 T6, but even with a standard four-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels, the car felt quicker than that. Serious torque steer was the major knock against the T6 model. Volvo discontinued it after 2005.