2010 Volvo S80 Makes U.S. Debut at New York Auto Show New Sports Chassis Delivers Enhanced Driving Dynamics
New York, NY (April 8, 2009) - With the introduction of the enhanced Volvo S80 for 2010, customers can select from two different factory-tuned suspensions to suit their driving styles. The new sports chassis is designed to deliver the reflexes of a sports sedan for more inspired and enthusiastic driving. Those who place a greater emphasis on comfort and luxury will discover that the revised standard chassis caters to their tastes, offering a softer ride and relaxed long-distance cruising.
"For some customers, the driving experience is what is most important, while others prioritize ride comfort," says Stefan Sällqvist, section manager for vehicle dynamics at Volvo Cars. "We've thoroughly analyzed what it is that characterizes the different needs and designed a chassis with entirely different natures."
In developing the sports chassis Volvo engineers made the suspension more rigid than before. The S80 is lowered .78 inches at the front and .59 inches at the rear resulting in enhanced stability. It also has the added bonus of projecting a more powerful and sporty appearance for the car. The new sport chassis will be available optionally on the S80 T6 AWD and V8 AWD. The S80 3.2 will retain the standard chassis configuration.
Crisper response is provided via shorter and firmer springs and enhanced shock-damping ability, on both compression and extension strokes, along with stiffer subframe bushings. These modifications result in improved steering feel and control, especially evident during spirited driving.
Additionally, the steering gear has been tailored to provide quicker response and increased feel, providing more direct contact with the tires and road surface. The S80's sports chassis is fitted with standard automatic leveling. This feature keeps the vehicle parallel with the road in different driving conditions whether the car is lightly or fully loaded.
"The new sports chassis provides plenty of driving pleasure," says Sällqvist. "The car has a whole new character and feels more compact than it actually is. At the same time, we haven't had to sacrifice much in the way of comfort. Yet for those interested solely in a smoother ride, we have a separate variant dedicated to providing sumptuous ride comfort."
In parallel with the development of the new sports chassis, the standard chassis has been given a distinctly more comfortable nature with somewhat softer springs and less damping. Ride comfort comes closer to limousine quality, especially evident to passengers riding in the back seat.
"We now have one chassis for those who really enjoy an active driving style and another for those who simply enjoy a sumptuous ride," says Sällqvist. "It's difficult to do the technology justice by just talking about it. It's all about feel - and that has to be experienced out on the road."
Customers are encouraged to visit their Volvo retailer to experience the difference between the S80's two suspension choices from the ideal vantage points - the driver's and passenger's seats.
Pricing for the 2010 Volvo S80 will be released closer to its introduction date in the second half of 2009.
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