A high-end executive car, the S80 served as a replacement for the Volvo 960/S90 sedan when the S80 debuted in 1998. Refurbishing their product line and image, Volvo aimed to create a more luxurious line of estate and sedan models that were more streamlined and sporty than their previous vehicle models.
The first generation was based on the Volvo P2 platform, while the second generation was built off the P24 platform.
First Generation S80
In the base sedan, a 2.9-liter engine produced 201 horsepower. A twin-turbocharged 2.8-liter, 268 horsepower engine went into the sportier T6 model. Safety equipment included front passenger airbags, crumple zones, Volvo’s inflatable curtain airbags, and Volvo’s WHIPS system (designed to move the front seatbacks and headrests rearward to minimize whiplash during a rear-end collision).
Standard equipment included dual-zone air conditioning, a tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, eight-way power front bucket seats with driver memory, and a split folding rear seat. Heated power mirrors, power locks and windows, remote keyless entry, a cassette/CD player, and 16-inch alloy wheels also were standard. The T6 sedan added heated front seats and mirrors, along with wood interior trim.
- Wheelbase: 109.9 in
- Overall Length: 189.8 in
- Width: 72.1 in
- Height: 57.2 in
- Weight: 3602 lb
Second Generation S80
The second generation of S80s debuted in 2006 with marked upgrades from the previous generation. The second generation S80 featured a 3.2 liter straight-6 or the 4.4 liter V8 engine also used in the XC90, in combination with available 4-wheel drive. The second generation models also are the first Volvo cars to offer a transversely fitted V8 with a power output of 316 hp, an engineering effort developed jointly by the Volvo car’s engine unit Skovde and Yamaha of Japan, creating one of the cleanest V8’s on the market.
The newest model features adaptive cruise control (ACC) with Collision Warning and Brake Support (CWBS), making it the first Volvo model to have these features. The cruise control assists in driving by sensing with radar slower cars in front of the vehicle and applying the brakes as needed. Besides the Collision Warning and the cruise control, designed to help drivers avoid dangerous situations before they occur, the Brake Support system offers additional safety assistance by preparing the braking system for impending quick stops and ensuring the brakes work faster in such situations.
In keeping with Volvo’s reputation for safety, the S80 has generated a reputation as one of the safest cars on the road. The first generation of S80s boasted the one of the world’s highest crash test ratings over a period of five years, and the second generation model garnered the highest “good” rating in crash test ratings for front, rear, and side impacts.
New innovations in the newest model of the S80 also offer unique safety features that can protect drivers who are not even behind the wheel. With Volvo’s personal car communicator (PCC), the driver can remotely check the security of the car, whether the doors are locked, and be warned by a heartbeat sensor that indicates whether a person might be hiding inside the car.