Volvo S80 V8
Sure, one man’s noise pollution is another man’s music. Opera, heavy metal, qawwali, take your pick. But Volvo’s V8 is a maestro. It sings in the right key, jumps octaves with the precision of the Berlin Philharmonic and there’s never a hiccup or overrun. And when you have an empty basement parking playing the part of a natural amplifier, there really is nothing better. Only wish it were much louder and not relatively civilised. What about a V8 rumble or a discordant woffle, you ask. Well to begin with this is no ordinary V8. Not American, British, European or Scandinavian, this motor actually comes from Yamaha in Japan. Probably why it sounds more like a pair of R1 superbikes playing in concert, than anything else. Still enough of a ‘eargasm’.
The large Volvo slips effortlessly into the night, like a battleship slipping out into a choppy ocean. Some of the roads around the office have been destroyed by the rains and so I crawl over them. But there’s really no need - the suspension of the Volvo is set up to be comfortable above all else (remember their largest market is the US), and the S80 simply smothers everything but the worst bits. There is some jiggling at low speeds on broken ground due to the low profile of the tyres and the occasional thump and thud, but overall it’s simply superb. Despite its formidable weight of nearly two tonnes, the S80’s suspension seems to skip lightly over the bumps, as the V8 tugs it forward at just a hint of throttle. With a 315bhp V8 sitting east–west in the nose, you’d think this car would be provided a suspension that has rocks for springs. But no, nothing comes in the way of it delivering a comfortable, pliant ride.
The car comes with three engine options, the D5, the 3.2 L I-6 and the 4.4 L V8 engine. The 2.5-litre Inline-five cylinder common rail diesel engine delivers 202 bhp. The 3.2L I-6 variant petrol engine generates 235 bhp. The 4.4L V-8 petrol engine produces 311 bhp. All the variants have a six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission. The D5 and 3.2L I-6 variants come in a front-wheel-drive configuration with the option of an all-wheel-drive configuration, while the 4.4L V-8 variant comes standard with an all-wheel-drive system. The all new S80 is the first Volvo model to feature Adaptive cruise control (ACC) with Collision Warning and Brake Support (CWBS). Adaptive cruise control helps ensure comfort and relaxed driving by letting the driver select the desired speed and the minimum time gap to the vehicle in front of them. When a radar sensor detects a slower vehicle in front of them, Adaptive Cruise Control adapts to that vehicle by applying the brakes as necessary. As the Collision Warning System senses an impending collision, it alerts with a flashing light on the windshield and an audible alarm. Meanwhile Brake Support offers additional assistance by preparing the braking system so that the car can begin stopping faster and avoid a potentially dangerous situation before it happens. Volvo S80 is also available with a new safety innovation called Blind Spot Information System which senses when a person enters the drivers blind spot and Active Bi-Xenon Lights (ABL) to illuminate around curves in the dark.
The front of the S80 has a chrome trimmed black grille embedded with a Volvo badge flanked by some well designed headlights. Fog and cornering lamps in the front spoiler improve the visibility when driving in conditions with low visibility. The triangular shaped red tail lamps and chrome-tipped dual exhaust outlets give the rear a completely different look.
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