Also the six-cylinder models of the new Volvo S80 can from now on be equipped with Volvo's intelligent All Wheel Drive system. Electronically controlled hydraulics and automatic distribution of engine power between the front and rear wheels mean the car's performance capability can be exploited effectively whatever the road conditions.
The result is increased driving pleasure and enhanced stability.
The new Volvo S80, which was launched in early 2006, has been highly praised for its driving properties. The front-wheel drive version of the car is highly stable and easy to control thanks to an advanced, particularly torsionally rigid body structure and a well-balanced chassis. To help matters even further, the DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) system is fitted as standard. Over and above this, the S80 can be specified with Four-C, Volvo's self-regulating active chassis system that adjusts the dampers in fractions of a second to suit changing driving conditions.
All Wheel Drive improves both driving pleasure and traction
"At the launch of the new Volvo S80, we equipped the V8 model with All Wheel Drive," says Steven Armstrong, Chief Operating Officer at Volvo Cars. "Now we are widening the range by making the AWD system available together with the six-cylinder 3.2 litre petrol engine too, a combination with the potential for high-class driving pleasure and hard to beat get-you-there ability when conditions get slippery underfoot."
The engine is Volvo's exceptionally compact six-cylinder in-line unit, installed transversely in the engine compartment and featuring advanced technology to offer the best possible performance. Power output is 175 kW (238 hp), with 320 Nm of torque. A variable inlet system and two-stage cam profile make it possible to extract the maximum power from the engine – power that harnesses All Wheel Drive to propel the car forward irrespective of road and driving conditions.
Volvo's AWD system is based on permanent four-wheel drive. Power is distributed automatically and entirely seamlessly between the front and rear wheels depending on road conditions and driving style. The system provides the best possible road grip in all conditions and the engine's power can be exploited optimally whatever the situation. This makes the car entertaining to drive and comfortable to ride in.
Instant Traction makes for easier starts on slippery road surfaces
The AWD system is equipped with Instant Traction for immediate drive engagement. Here, the heart of the AWD system, the electronically controlled hydraulic clutch developed in cooperation with Haldex AB of Sweden, has adjustable base-line torque of up to 80 Newton metres. This allows the system to immediately divert power to the rear wheels when starting, thus reducing the risk of the front wheels spinning. This function is particularly beneficial when starting on ice or gravel. As soon as the car moves off, the power is once again distributed as required by the driving conditions.
"The launch of the Volvo S80 3.2 AWD is yet another step in our drive to meet customer demands for driving pleasure, comfort and get-you-there ability," says Steven Armstrong. "The model will be available on all markets, but we expect Sweden, Canada and Switzerland to be the biggest markets, followed by Russia, Finland and Germany."