Car reviews - Volvo - S80 - V8 sedan
Volvo shows genuine skill and daring with its all-new, luxury-class S80 sedan
22 Jun 2007
By CHRIS HARRIS
THIS time around, Volvo might just have the real article. The first S80 was a lame attempt at lifting the Swedish company from its middle-class image to something capable of talking on the might of Germany in the luxury sector. It ticked many of the boxes, but it missed out in a couple of significant areas – ride and handling, engine performance – and that looked even more ludicrous when you looked at the pricing. Now, an all-new S80 appears, featuring not just a suspension that has finally nailed the elusive ride-handling compromise that has always eluded Volvo, but also a brisk, 4.4-litre Yamaha V8 that drives through all four wheels to give the company flagship some genuine on-road authority. And the pricing is no longer off the planet, with the base D5 version tagged at just $72,000 and the V8 cheaper than the last of the previous T6 models at $95,000. For Volvo’s sake, let’s hope all this gives the leverage to provide an alternative to the dominant Germans.
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Volvo S80Released: May 1998
Ended: July 2005
Family Tree: S80
Volvo's original S80 led a short but eventful life in Australia. Launched in May 1998 in 150kW/280Nm 2.9 six-cylinder and 200kW/380Nm 2.8 T6 guises, it was joined by the 2.9 and 2.8 T6 SE in July 1999, but was let down by a four-speed auto, too-light steering and underdone suspension. A 75th anniversary 2.9 in December 2002 and a 154kW/320Nm 2.5T (complete with five-speed auto and a new $75,950 starting price) couldn't help the big front-drive Swede's descent into discontinuation, which happened in July 2005.
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