The all-new Volvo S80 - design and comfort
All-new Volvo S80 in Scandinavian luxury packaging
The all-new Volvo S80 is a luxury car with an elegant and dynamic profile influenced by modern Scandinavian design.
A high specification level and generous interior space allied to Volvo's world-renowned seats and a wide range of intelligent functions combine to create a highly comfortable package with a solid aura of luxury.
The all-new Volvo S80 is the same overall length as its predecessor (4850 mm), but it is 27 mm wider and 34 mm taller. Its wheelbase is longer and the track is wider too. All told this makes for entirely different proportions, with a more impressive stance and greater presence on the road.
"Our design goal was that the all-new Volvo S80 should express elegance, alertness and smooth movement," says Steve Mattin, Design Director at Volvo Cars. "We aimed to achieve this with more rounded shapes, higher haunches and more sweeping lines."
Solid and compact
Volvo's modern car models have a design featuring pronounced curvature at the corners to create a dynamic and compact impression and to reduce the risk of injuries to pedestrians. The new Volvo S80 is no exception. The entire front is gently rounded, without any pronounced corners. The bonnet too has more emphasised curvature and a higher profile to provide added pedestrian protection. The headlamps, which sit lower down than in the previous S80 model, follow the curvature of the front and stretch way out on the side and up towards the bonnet.
"A bit like a smile," comments Steve Mattin. "It helps give the car a positive expression."
The doors too are more rounded. The previous inward curve of the door panels has been replaced with a convex, more powerful profile. At the same time, the haunches are both higher and broader, reinforcing the solid and robust nature of the car's design. What is more, the sills have a more pronounced profile that visually lowers the car and gives it a stable, self-assured stance.
"The solid appearance gives the car an air of authority and dignity," says Steve Mattin. "It also makes the car feel safe and reassuring to ride in."
Sweeping lines and enhanced Volvo character
In order to give the all-new Volvo S80 the right aura of elegance and a sensation of agile motion, the car has more sweeping lines than its predecessor did. The tapered shape with the gently rounded front, sloping glass, almost invisible transfer from rear window to boot panel and the abruptly vertical tail create a sensation of speed. This has been further emphasised by the parallel profiles on the bonnet and the sweeping, clearly marked roof line which is created by two parallel lines. The elegant flowing lines are also aided by the C-posts, which have a visually slimmer appearance since the rear side windows are now framed by the rear doors. The entire side-glass panel is also framed by a chromed trim moulding.
"Although the all-new Volvo S80 is an entirely new car from the ground up, featuring an entirely new design, it is important that it should easily be identified as a Volvo," says Steve Mattin. "That is why we have emphasised many of those elements that help create the special Volvo character."
The vertical radiator grille with its diagonal Volvo bar is there, further enhanced by being enlarged. The bonnet's trademark V-shape has been extended all the way down to the spoiler. The tail lamps echo the design of the other cars in Volvo's modern range, but their shape has been refined to create a somewhat lower profile that follows the broad shoulder line. LED lights at the top of the lamp units make it easy to identify the Volvo S80 from a long way behind, even in the dark.
Interior characterised by Scandinavian design influence
The inside of the all-new Volvo S80 reflects the elegant and luxurious exterior. It is characterised by clean surfaces, harmonious lines, exciting contrasts and smooth function - an expression of Scandinavian design tradition that helps create a dynamic and harmonious interior. The sweeping lines of the exterior are echoed in the car's interior.
"Just look at the upper part of the instrument panel," says Steve Mattin. "To me it looks like an untouched snow-covered meadow. And that's exactly what Scandinavian design is all about - inspiration from our natural surroundings."
As in the exterior, the sweeping contours are really two parallel lines that create a pronounced edge or profile. The same design language is found again in the door panels. Another consistent theme inside the car is the rectangular shape with rounded corners that characterises free-standing functions such as the ignition lock and air vents. And, as always in a Volvo, every detail has been meticulously designed in form and function and is optimally positioned to provide an ergonomic and comfortable driver's environment. This is also an important prerequisite for safe, relaxed driving.
Volvo's modern, super-slim centre console, which was first introduced in the smaller Volvo S40 and V50 models, is one the most visual items of proof of the high level of Volvo craftsmanship. In the S80, the centre console has been tailored to suit the more classic and exclusive interior design. The console has also been extended so that it stretches all the way to the rear seat and hosts a number of smart functions for storing and connecting accessory equipment, such as an iPod or electric cooling box.
Volvo's front seats are regarded by many as the best on the market. They are designed to offer the best possible support and comfort, even on long trips. Power seats are available as an option. These can now be specified with perforated and ventilated leather upholstery. The seats are then equipped with fans in the seat cushion and backrest. The temperature in the seats is quickly lowered to a pleasant level, contributing to high seating comfort, particularly on hot days and in damp climates.
The opposite function - heating in the front seats - can be adjusted to any one of three temperature settings. The rear seat too features heating.
Seating comfort benefits further from extended legroom both front and rear compared with the previous S80 model. Hardened 5 millimetre thick side glass contributes to excellent sound damping inside the passenger compartment.
Clean Zone Interior Package - a world-first
Volvo's consideration also extends to the increasing number of people who suffer from over-sensitivity in various forms. Volvo is now launching its Clean Zone Interior Package, based on ECC (Electronic Climate Control) and IAQS (Interior Air Quality System).
When the car is unlocked via the remote control, the passenger compartment is automatically ventilated for about one minute if the outside temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius. The Clean Zone Interior Package provides interior air that has been approved by the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association.
The interior trim materials and components are selected to minimise emissions of harmful substances.
The S80 driver has a wide range of possibilities for tailoring the car's comfort features to his or her own needs and tastes. These parameters are set in the car's information system. The menu covers features such as the seats, rear-view mirrors, climate unit, audio system, navigation and, to a certain extent, the car's driving properties too. One new choice is automatic start of the rear defroster. When this function is pre-selected, the defroster is activated whenever the temperature is about 9 degrees Celsius. Another example is speed-dependent power steering. It is an option and can be set at a choice of three different power assistance levels, selected via the information system.
"The wide adjustment scope contributes to the high comfort level of the new S80," says Silvia Güllsdorf, S80 Project Director. "From the safety viewpoint, however, it is important that one does not spend too much time on the menu system while driving. In order to avoid distracting the driver's attention from the road while driving, certain menu functions are blocked about 20 seconds after adjustment.
World-class audio system
The all-new Volvo S80 can be equipped with one of the best audio systems in the world, Volvo Premium Sound. A digital amplifier from Alpine with Bang & Olufsen PowerHouse ICEPower® technology, Dolby® Pro Logic II Surround and loudspeakers from Dynaudio® of Denmark give an audio experience of the very highest premium level. Volvo Premium Sound is described in greater detail in a separate press release.
The all-new Volvo S80 - dimensions (in comparison with the previous S80 model)
Length 4850 mm (4850 mm)
Width 1860 mm (1833 mm)
Height 1488 mm (1454 mm)
Wheelbase 2836 mm (2791 mm)
Track, front 1588 mm (1582 mm)
Track, rear 1585 mm (1560 mm)