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Nov 15, 2007 | ID: 13009

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Acknowledges Three Volvo Models As "Top Safety Picks"


(IRVINE, Calif.), November 15, 2007.   For the past two years, Volvo's XC90 SUV, C70 Convertible, and S80 Sedan have all earned IIHS's top honors for vehicle safety in front, side, and rear impact crash protection.  Each model presented unique challenges towards achieving top ratings.


"Volvo safety has been over 80 years in the making. Our cars are born from a culture that believes in protecting those in and around everything we make," states Anne Belec, President and CEO, Volvo Cars of North America. "Safety is a matter of cultural pride. Safety is not added on; it comes with the first kernel of thought when designing a new Volvo." Belec continues, "With today's engineering infrastructure, many can build cars to pass tests as witnessed by 34 vehicles being acknowledged as Top Safety Picks while last year there were only 11. What separates Volvo from others is factoring in real world accident research to build, what we believe is the safest SUV, Convertible, and Sedan, real world cars that go beyond standardized tests."


Volvo's For Real World Safety

Volvo's holistic, 'Circle of Development' approach to safety starts from real world accident research, moving through to engineering, testing, manufacturing and coming back to real world accident research. Volvo safety is about Protective and Preventive safety - to help people during one of their worst life experiences: an automobile accident.


While each vehicle achieved top safety acknowledgements for IIHS's standard bevy of crash testing, Volvo went even further to help offer protection that might be needed in real world situations. Acing crash test criteria is but one way to protect occupants. At Volvo, there is the belief that standard tests help to predict vehicle behavior but real world accident research adds another layer of safety engineering to those in and around Volvo cars.



When launched in 2002, the XC90 was fitted with the world's first Roll Over Protection System (ROPS) that helped driver maintain vehicle control during rapid lane changes associated with accident avoidance maneuvers. However, not all accidents are created equally.  Volvo has used different grades of steel including Ultra High Strength Steel in order to enhance the structural integrity of the vehicle.



The all new C70 carries safety engineering from the preceding C70 by increasing use of Ultra High Strength Steel for side and rear energy absorption protection. Also featured is the world's first side impact air bag from convertibles. Also standard are pop-up roll bars.


Protective Exterior Safety

Protective safety in the new Volvo S80 is structured in the form of a network of exterior and interior safety systems that interact to reduce the risk of occupant injury in the event of a collision. The exterior systems have the task of distributing and absorbing incoming collision forces so that the passenger space is preserved as intact as possible. The body is therefore built in the form of a box-section structure using varying grades of steel, with all the components interacting to provide controlled deformation that reduces impacting energy to the human body.


Transverse Mounted Engines

Like the rest of Volvo's offerings, the S80 features a transversely installed engine and front-wheel drive. Transverse engine installation provides a controlled deformation zone in the engine compartment and helps reduce the risk of engine intrusion into the passenger compartment in a frontal collision. Even the new V8 is transversely installed thanks to its extremely compact dimensions and effective packaging.


Interior Safety

Interior safety systems assist in keeping the passengers securely in place to help maximize seat belt/airbag effectiveness and minimize the risk of serious injuries. In order to provide the most effective protection possible Volvo Cars has developed a number of unique systems.

  • A new type of side-impact airbag makes Volvo's patented SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) even more effective. The new side impact airbags feature two separate inflation chambers - one at hip height and one at chest height. Since the hips can withstand greater impact than the chest, the lower chamber is inflated at five time's higher pressure than the upper section. The side impact airbags interact with the inflatable curtains (IC) and the body's network of beams to reduce acceleration loads on the human body.

  • Volvo's WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System) - is one of the most effective on the market. In the event of a severe impact from the rear, the front seat backrest and head restraint move together with the occupant's body, thus damping its movement in much the same way the arms move rearward when catching a ball. In the latest generation of WHIPS, the system's function has been further developed to provide an even smoother "catching" motion.

  • A three-piece steering column designed to pivot up and collapse away from the driver through the use of a pyrotechnically charged separation bolt. This helps to better position the air bag deployment process for pending contact with the driver.

All five seats are equipped with three-point inertia-reel safety belts, belt pre-tensioners and head restraints. The highest possible safety requires that all occupants always use their safety belts (which Volvo made standard equipment in 1959 - a world's first).


Preventive safety - the avoidance of accidents - was one of the most important starting points when the new S80 was being developed. Preventative safety has lead to an entirely new generation of advanced driving and support systems and, of course, included Volvo's legendary Protective safety.


Accident avoidance is the next step in Preventive protection. Combining multiplexed electronics with advanced software and hardware designs have created a new level of driver assisted technologies. Preventive safety systems transform surrounding environmental activities into usable data to help the S80 driver avoid dangerous situations.


Collision Avoidance Package - New for 2008 S80, V70 and XC70 ($1695 MSRP) *

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses a radar sensor to help the driver maintain the distance to the vehicle in front. ACC should primarily be seen as a comfort-enhancing function, but it contributes at the same time to more controlled driving when the traffic rhythm is uneven.


Collision Warning with Auto Brake Function (CW) helps reduce the risk of frontal impact. If the Volvo approaches another vehicle from behind and the driver does not react, the system alerts the driver with audible and visual signals. If the risk of a collision nonetheless continues to increase despite the warning, the brake support system is activated.  Thereafter, if the system senses that a collision is likely to occur, then the brakes are applied up to 50%.


Distance Alert helps keep the time gap to the vehicle in front, also functions when the ACC is disengaged. If the gap becomes shorter than selected, a heads-up display is illuminated to warn driver.


Driver Alert this unique system uses a camera to monitor the cars movements between the lane markings. The system calculates whether you risk losing control of the vehicle. An audible and test message warning are used if the risk is assessed as "high".


Lane Departure Warning is activated if the car should cross one of the road markings without an obvious reason. This system helps to prevent road departure accidents and head-on collisions due to temporary distractions.

Blind Spot Identification System (BLIS) registers if another vehicle is in the offset rear blind spot along either side of the car and the driver is alerted via a visual signal.


Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS) helps stop the driver being distracted by non-essential information in pressing situations, for instance by delaying incoming phone calls or SMS.


Active Bi-Xenon Light - moving headlight beams that follow the curvature of the road - help maintain the best possible visibility in the dark on twisting roads.


Personal Car Communicator (PCC) is an advanced control center in pocket format. At the touch of a button, the car owner can instantly find out whether ...
... the car is locked or unlocked ...
... the alarm has been activated ...
... the alarm has been set off and someone is inside the car.

The information is stored so that it is possible to check if the car really was locked when it was parked, at any time and from anywhere.


* For S80, V70 and XC70 production from mid-November 2008 - on



James Hope or Dan Johnston

1 800 970 0888 extension 3


Volvo has been building cars with safety in mind for 80 years. The current 2007 model lineup of Volvo cars includes:  the award-winning new S40 and its wagon counterpart the V50; the award-winning XC90; the sporty S60 sedan - including the award-winning performance sedan - S60 R and the performance wagon version - V70 R; the versatile V70 wagon and rugged XC70 (Cross Country); the new Volvo C70 - the convertible with the innovative retractable hardtop, and the all-new Volvo S80.

S80, XC90, C70 Convertible, Safety
Descriptions and facts in this press material relate to Volvo Car Group's international car range. Described features might be optional. Vehicle specifications may vary from one country to another and may be altered without prior notification.

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