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At The Wheel : Performance Sedan


2007 Volvo S80 AWD SR:

V8 Power with BLIS


By Les Jackson   CruiseControlRadio.Com


It's all there: the V8 exhaust burble, smooth and rapid acceleration, seamless shifting, plush leather seating, flowing exterior style, 18-inch alloy wheels, 40-series performance tires, bitchin' audio system and ever-so-precise handling. It's got all the stuff an enthusiast would look for in a European sports sedan and it didn't come from Germany or Italy. It's a Volvo!


It is for sure, and it's a supremely well-constructed machine, complete with more than its share of acronyms. There's DSTC, HSS, VIC,SIPS, WHIPS, AQS and BLIS, along with the more familiar ABS (antilock brakes), AWD (all-wheel drive) and all the other safety goodies one expects in a Volvo.


So what do those initials stand for? Well, DSTC is Volvo's name for electronic stability control (Dynamic Stability Traction Control); HSS refers to the unibody construction technique of using high strength steel in the passenger cage; VIC means "Volvo Inflatable Curtain," or side impact head protection – front and rear. SIPS is Volvo's name for side impact airbags, and very sophisticated ones at that. WHIPS means whiplash protection in the front seats; AQS refers to the humidity-sensing interior air quality system and BLIS (my personal favorite!) is Volvo's very clever blind spot information system.


You read that correctly. The S80 has warning lights in the A-pillar to let you know a vehicle (or bicyclist, in one particular case) is moving in your blind spot. It's very effective and I think every vehicle should have the feature. I also think every vehicle should have adaptive cruise control too, wherein the system can be set to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front and it will slow down or speed up on its own, even to the point of braking hard if the up-front vehicle suddenly slows down. The S80 has such a system, of course.


My test car was fitted with the Sport ZUBRA Package which consists of 18-inch alloy wheels fitted with 245/40 series tires; ventilated front seats; leather surfaces; Bi-Xenon gas discharge headlamps and 3-mode chassis settings (comfort, sport and "buckboard," if you want such a ride)



The 4.4 liter, 311 horsepower V8 engine (made in Japan in conjunction with Yamaha) is a piece of sculpture that cranks out a nice exhaust note while it's throwing the car forward at impressive speeds. All the power is handled by a Geartronic 6-speed automatic that shows no sign of hard shifting, and the overall impression is that the engine/transmission were carved out of the same block of aluminum.


Handling is equally impressive thanks to the combination of all-wheel-drive and front/rear independent suspension components that make all road surfaces seem like they

were tuned to the car. This thing is well thought out for sure. The only thing I found lacking was the upward visibility through the highly-slanted windshield. I had to stay well back at stop lights so I could see the overhead signals. The ventilated seats were a delight during some particularly nasty hot days and the SIRIUS-equipped sound system seemed to radiate sound from everywhere.

All this luxury and performance doesn't come for free, and the S80 base price of $47,350 is quickly upped with the addition of the Electric Silver paint ($625); Sport Package ($2,495); BLIS ($595); Climate and audio packages ($2275); Adaptive Cruise Control ($1495) and destination/personal car communicator (remote) charges totaling $1200, the grand total comes to $56,025. Those able to afford one will love it!

Specifications: 2007 Volvo S80 AWD A SR

Mileage on test vehicle: 6250
Color: Exterior: Premium Electric Silver

Towing Capacity: N/A
Fuel Mileage: City 17 Highway 25 Observed 24
Fuel Required: 91 Octane Premium
Safety: Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), Blind Spot detection (BLIS) plus many others as listed above
Warranty: 48 Month /50,000 Limited coverage; 144 month corrosion protection
24- Hour roadside assist
Standard features: Automatic climate control, Premium audio system with SIRIUS satellite radio, Power moonroof; Leather seating; Electric Parking Brake, Driver & Passenger 8-way power seats; Key integrated remote control.

Major Options: Sirius Satellite Radio $430, Navigation System $1750


Cruise Control - America's truly unique automotive radio show continues to

attract more and more listeners with its engaging format. This two-hour automotive magazine program is heard live every Saturday from 10 a.m. to Noon, Eastern Time, on three national networks: the National Radio Network, Cable Radio Network (CRN), and USA Radio Network. Cruise Control is currently heard on numerous broadcast stations across the US as well as digital cable and internet affiliates. Unlike other car radio shows  Cruise Control covers all aspects of the automotive industry including new vehicles reviews, new technologies and interviews with key automotive industry leaders.




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