Latest Automotive News

Subscribe in a reader

New Volvo S80 Ushers

Email   small font medium font large font

Not just a pretty face. The all-new Volvo S80 includes a host of new safety features. Bottom photo is a rendering of Volvo S80 with cutaway view of reinforced side structure, engine compartment and side impact airbags.
In the tradition of the first generation Volvo S80 luxury sedan that introduced innovations like the Inflatable Curtain (IC) head and upper body protection, and the ground-breaking Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) seating, the second generation S80 is a showcase of Volvo safety research and development.

The long list of innovations in protective (passive) safety includes sophisticated crash energy absorption systems in the structure, the next generation of WHIPS whiplash mitigation, new Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) side airbags with separate chambers to protect chest and hips, and new protection for pedestrians.

Protective Safety
"The next generation S80 features a patented advanced body structure, offering high torsional rigidity which very effectively contributes to impact energy absorption," says Silvia Güllsdorf, S80 Project Director at Volvo Cars.

The patented front body structure in the Volvo S80 has been divided into zones, each with a different task during the deformation process in a collision. The outer zones are responsible for most of the deformation. The closer the collision forces get to the passenger compartment, the less the material deforms.

The design of the drivetrain, including the transverse mounting of the engines and significant engineering to reduce the exterior dimensions of the engines and transmissions, has added additional deformation capacity in the engine compartment. "There is a great deal of creativity and advanced engine technology behind these solutions," says Güllsdorf.

Improved Side Airbag
A new side airbag helps the patented Volvo Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) become even more effective. The new airbags have two separate chambers - one for the hips and one for the chest. As the hips can withstand greater forces than the chest, the lower chamber can be inflated to a pressure that is up to five times higher than in the upper chamber. The new side airbags interact with the Inflatable Curtains (IC) and the body's structure to optimize protection. Both the sills and the B-pillars have been reinforced.

Improved WHIPS System
Rear impact protection is also enhanced. The groundbreaking WHIPS system in the S80 has been improved to provide better compliance and support for the head in the event of an impact.

Pedestrian Protection
Protection for pedestrians and cyclists was also a consideration in the design of the all new S80. The front of the car has energy-absorbing features, including a well-proportioned, soft structure in front of the bumper to mitigate the risk of leg injuries. The lower edge of the spoiler has been reinforced and moved forward, almost in line with the bumper, to distribute the impact, on a leg for example, over a greater area to reduce the risk of injury.

The shape of the hood has been raised and a honeycomb structure underneath distributes the load on impact, helping to absorb the forces and reduce the risks of injury.

Active Bi-Xenon Lights
To produce an optimal range of vision when driving in the dark on winding roads, Volvo Cars has introduced the Active Bi-Xenon Light - swiveling headlights that follow the bends in the road. Road situations are measured and analyzed using a mini-processor which then optimizes the lighting. The headlights can be swiveled up to 15 degrees in each direction, and have the capacity to illuminate a longer distance when the road is winding. To save wear on the system, this function is disconnected automatically in daylight.

The angle of the headlights adjusts to variables such as vehicle load, acceleration, and braking to help reduce the risk of blinding oncoming road users. The headlights are cleaned by means of an electro-mechanical, high-pressure system that washes one headlight at a time to offer the best possible illumination.

Personal Security -- the PCC
Improved personal security is also a high priority for many buyers, and the Personal Car Communicator (PCC) is a world first from Volvo Cars that will help address their concerns.

The Personal Protection Communicator lets owners know if doors are locked or unlocked, whether the alarm is activated and whether someone is in the car.
The new PCC is an advanced pocket-sized control module that both sends and received information from the car. In its personal security role, the PCC provides information which could be crucial to the security of the car owner. By simply pressing a button, the car owner can acquire information within a few seconds:

  • Whether the car is locked or unlocked
  • Whether the alarm is activated or not
  • Whether there is someone in the car (which is determined using a highly sensitive heartbeat sensor and an advanced calculation process)

    The information is accessible and relevant as long as the distance between the PCC and the car is within approximately 300 feet. The most recent information is stored in the module so that at any time and in any place a check can be made to see if the car was actually locked when it was parked.

    "Personal security is one of the cornerstones of the Volvo safety profile," says Güllsdorf. "It is about having your car left undisturbed and avoiding situations that could entail personal risk."

    Please note the PCC may not be available in some markets.

    Other safety technologies in the all new Volvo S80

  • A collapsible steering wheel, which during deformation is moved horizontally for the best possible interaction with the airbag
  • Pedals with a collapse function
  • Airbags with a dual-stage function
  • Seatbelt pretensioners for all five seating positions
  • Force limiters for the front seatbelts
  • Reinforced, transversely mounted pipe between the A-pillars (contributes to side impact protection)
  • Reinforced and rigid SIPS pipes in the seats and a deformable steel box in the center of the car
  • Optional Self Supporting Tires (run-flat) with tire pressure monitoring system
  • Highly advanced brake system with four key enhancements - Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA), Optimized Hydraulic Brakes (OHB), Ready Alert Brakes (RAB) and Fading Brake Support (FBS)
  • Diagonally mounted crossmembers made of Ultra High Strength Steel in the doors

    Energy Absorption and Deformation
    To give each zone the correct properties, the steel grades have been varied. Four different grades of steel are used. Apart from conventional bodywork steel, three different grades of high-strength steel are strategically placed: High Strength Steel, Extra High Strength Steel and Ultra High Strength Steel.

    Low-Speed Deformation Zone
    The front bumper incorporates a rigid crossmember made of Ultra High-Strength Steel. The attachments to the body's longitudinal members are designed in the form of "crash boxes". These help absorb the forces in a low-speed collision without damage to the other parts of the body structure.

    High-Speed Deformation Zone
    Portions of the longitudinal chassis members are made of High-Strength Steel - very ductile steel that is optimized for high-energy absorption. This zone accounts for most of the deformation.

    Back-Up Zone
    The section of the crossmember that turns outward towards the A-pillars act as a barrier to protect the passenger compartment, serving as a back-up to reduce deformation. The design also helps minimize the risk of the front wheel penetrating the passenger compartment. Instead, the wheel helps to absorb the collision forces. This section is very rigid and is made of Extra High-Strength Steel.

    Three-Way Attachment
    A rigid side member links the A-pillars and the lower side members so that they form an extremely rigid three-way attachment on each side. The design contributes significantly to protecting the passenger compartment in a serious collision.

  • Receive the latest automotive news by email!

    Enter your email address:

    Related news
    The C4 Picasso thus becomes a reference in the MPV segment and joins the C4, C5, C6 and C8 in the family of Citroën vehicles having scored five EuroNCAP stars. ...
    Ford Mondeo All-new Ford Mondeo is praised by independent motoring experts as one of the world’s best mid-sized sedans. The all-new Ford Mondeo, designed and engineered by Ford of ...
    Today it was announced the 2007 Kia Amanti received a “Good” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in a side impact crash test for large luxury cars. A "Good" ...
    Volvo's new small car, the C30, begins production at the end of 2006. The first official photos of the exciting new Volvo C30 were released by Volvo Car Corporation in ...
    The anticipatory PRE-SAFE® protection system is included in the standard safety equipment for the new CL-Class, which makes its market debut in the autumn of 2006. This award-winning technology goes into action if ...
    Truck maker A-B Volvo has posted a 23 per cent increase in first-quarter earnings. The better-than-expected results sent Volvo shares soaring nearly seven per cent on the Stockholm exchange. Volvo, which sold its car ...
    STOCKHOLM (AP) _ Swedish truck and bus maker AB Volvo said Friday its fourth-quarter profit fell 15 per cent to 2.99 billion kronor ($388 million US) as higher ...
    Volvo's XC90 Sport has been introduced in Europe and should reach North American markets later this year. Volvo Car Corporation is expanding the XC90 range with a new variant - ...
    Truck manufacturer Volvo says it will lay off 600 workers at its Hagerstown plant in the first half of 2007. The Swedish company says the layoffs reflect expectations for an ...

    Best Investment Newsletter

    - 46% in 2008

    - invest in the best performing US stocks only and sell them when the uptrend is over

    - very easy to follow, simple buy/sell signals

    - no need to have investing or trading experience

    Find More Now!

    New Volvo S80 Ushers
    > © 2006-2017 except where otherwise noted