Volvo-standard safety and quality, more powerful engines, striking new design
The S80 is Volvo's flagship 4-door sedan, and following on Volvo tradition, it's among the safest in its class of high-end luxury sedans, making it an excellent alternative to the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. And with available all-wheel-drive, it's a capable performer in inclement weather and several powerful engines mean that although it's safe, it's still fun to drive.
The 2011 Volvo S80 has been completely redesigned from the ground up, with what Volvo says are nearly 700 changes over the 2010 model. The vast majority of those changes are under the skin, but even from the outside, it's evident that the 2011 model is a totally new Volvo, with an all-new front grille, new chrome accents on the taillights, front bumper, and doors and refined body contours throughout.
The S80 comes in two versions for 2011, starting with the front-wheel drive 3.2L inline 6-powered base model, which has been boosted to 240 horsepower--a 5-horsepower increase over 2010. Buyers can choose to step up to the T6 all-wheel-drive version, which features a turbocharged 3.0L engine that makes 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque--an increase of 19 horsepower and 30 lb-ft of torque over the previous model. Volvo's all-wheel drive system includes Instant Traction, which provides excellent grip on both wet and dry pavement. The V8-powered S80 has been dropped for 2011, although with the new increase in power, the T6 is nearly as potent--just 0.3 seconds slower to 60 than the V8's 6-second run.
Whether it's front- or all-wheel-drive, all S80s come with a 6-speed "Geartronic" transmission which allows the driver to select fully automatic operation or shift manually on demand. Overall, the new model has a quieter cabin than before, and overall handling has been improved as well, with an optional Four-C suspension that allows smoother handing of bumps and less body roll on hard cornering.
Safety has always been a trademark of Volvo's cars, and the S80 is no different, with high-tech items like a unique collision warning system with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active bi-xenon headlights, an available blindspot alert system and a body structure with four different grades of steel that was designed at the Volvo Safety Center. Add to that a host of airbags, including front and side curtain units, and the S80 is easily among the safest cars in its class.
Several packages are available, including a Dynamic Package on the T6 all-wheel drive that includes a sport-tuned chassis, firmer springs, modified shock settings, stiffer roll bars and subframe bushings, dual xenon headlights with Active Bending Lights and 18-inch "Fortuna" diamond-cut alloy wheels. In addition, there's a Multimedia Package that includes a premium sound system with 12 speakers, Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound and a 650-watt amplifier. Volvo Navigation is also part of the package, as well as a rear camera, Volvo's Personal Car Communicator system (which allows 2-way car communication) and Volvo's Blind Spot Information System. A new Inscription package includes special Sovereign Hide soft leather seats, a classic walnut steering wheel, ventilated front seats, walnut wood inlays on the dash and door panels, and special doorsill plates and floor mats.
Options include metallic paints, power sunroof, and front and rear park assist. The Personal Car Commnicator, Blind Spot Identification System and dual xenon headlamps can also be had as stand-alone add-ons.
For 2011, the Volvo S80 has been completely redesigned. Most notable is the revised exterior design, which features a new grille with a larger Volvo emblem as well as chrome-trimmed tail lamps, lower front fascia and door side moldings. Overall, the body has a much more aerodynamic appearance and features a longer wheelbase than the car it replaces. The basic 3.2L straight six in the S80 now makes 240 horsepower with a ULEV emissions rating and 230 horsepower with PZEV emissions--5 horsepower up from 2010 in both cases. The V8 all-wheel drive model has been discontinued, but the S80 T6 all-wheel drive model now makes 300 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque--nearly the same numbers as the V8 and at a lower price point. Other changes include the addition of standard Sirius satellite radio, optional dual xenon headlamps with Active Bending Light feature, and a new Inscription package in place of 2010's Executive package. A rearview camera has also been added to the Multimedia package.
Vehicle Price: 38,025.00
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