Worldwide Introduction Set for Geneva
The aging Volvo S80 gets a major update for the 2007MY, and Volvo has released some initial data ahead of its auto show introductions in Geneva (March) and New York (April). Sales in the States don’t begin until the end of 2006. Though AutoPacific and VehicleVoice correspondents won’t have the opportunity to get our hands on the updated S80 for several months, we do have some first impressions to share.
The original S80 established the modern Volvo design motif that has evolved through the lineup from S80 down to the upcoming C30. Elegant and expressive, the Volvo cues have given the cars an at-a-glance identity. The new S80 is clearly a Volvo, but may be too close in execution to its smaller stablemate the S60. Volvos are known as practical, safe, family cars and to the extent they vary from that formula, Volvo risks abandoning its heritage… an all to common occurance these days.
Handsome as the new S80 is, the very fast windshield, fast backlite and swoopy roofline promise more restricted interior roominess and headroom. While very tastefully done, we can’t help but wonder if a more practical execution wouldn’t be better accepted. Of course, the sales of the original S80 have stagnated towards nothingness, so any refresh probably will generate improved sales.