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2010 Volvo S80 Review


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MORE: Volvo Unveils New Models at 2009 Geneva Motor Show - Video


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By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
Amsterdam Bureau
The Auto Channel

MONACO, March 11, 2009; The refreshed S80 made its world debut in Geneva and just six days later we could make a first driving impression in the south of France. The minor face lift consisted of a more aggressive grille with a larger Volvo logo and chrome details across the air intakes, under the doors and under the tail lamps.


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The interior has been updated with new leather trim with matching stitching and a brushed metal frame around the thin center stack. The instruments got new aluminium rings and also the steering wheel is new and now resembles the one in the XC60.

The large S80 sedan has been refreshed and besides the 1.6 –liter diesel it also gets other new engines. First of all, there is the D5, the five cylinder, twin-turbo diesel with 205 hp and 420 Nm (310 lb-ft.) of torque. This version has a fuel consumption of 6.2 l/100 km and 164 g/km CO2.

The other new engine is the 2,4-liter diesel with 175 hp and also 420 Nm (310 lb-ft.) torque that has a fuel consumption of 5.8 l/100 km and 154 g/km CO2. The current 2.0-liter diesel remains unchanged.

From June, the 109 hp 1.6 Driv-e diesel will be available for both the S80 and V70.

Also new is the 1.6-liter gasoline turbo engine, that will debut in the new S60 next year. Finally, in 2012 Volvo plans to introduce the plug-in hybrid version of the C30.


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For the first time Volvo is offering a sports chassis for the S80. So far the model was delivered in the US with a comfortable chassis set up, that was somewhat firmer tuned for the European market. The comfortable chassis now is standard and there is the choice of not only the new sports chassis, but like before also the electronically adjusting 4C chassis. For the new model, prices have not been announced yet, but Volvo says that in Europe they will not exceed the current prices by more than 350 to 500 euro. The sports chassis will be an option for “a couple of hundred euro”, said a spokesperson. The same will apply in dollars for the American market.


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The sportier set up realized by lowering the front of the car with 20 mm (0.8 in.) in the front and by 15 mm (0,6 in.) in the rear. Shorter and firmer springs and shock absorbers with a greater damping ability, harder bushes and different anti-roll bars are also part of the package, as well as automatic levelling.

We drove the renewed S80 through France's Mediterranean coastal area between Nice and Monaco. We found the comfort chassis a bit too soft for driving on curvy mountain roads. It will be excellent, however, for people who use the car for longer distances and for business people who ride in the back.

The sports chassis of our second test car was combined with AWD and provided a more stable feel that invites you to drive more dynamically. In that case, you will also appreciate the improved steering gear that comes with the sports suspension for quicker response and a better feel.


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Wind noise is mainly generated by the mirrors and to a lesser extend by the A-pillars. We only drove the S80 equipped with the D5 diesel engine, that is very able and willing to perform. Although you will always hear the typical diesel sound softly in the background, this is not annoying, but enhances a sporty feel. With its high torque, the engine is very lively and teamed to the automatic transmission the S80 accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 10 seconds (0-60 mph in 9.6 s) and reaches a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph) and has a fuel consumption of 6.7 liter /100 km in the combined cycle.

The new S80 not only leaves an improved impression, but also has a more dynamic stance. That is important, since Volvo wants to become the (cheaper) alternative again for its German competitors, who all offer dynamic models in the segment.

The S80 will go on sale in Europe around the beginning of May and in North America, where the V-8 will be available, but diesel engines will not (Editors Note: And Why Not We Ask?)

MORE: Volvo Unveils New Models at 2009 Geneva Motor Show - Video