IRVINE, Calif. (RUSHPRNEWS)August 22, 2007 - Volvo’s signature Scandinavian Luxury sedan has earned IIHS’s top honors for vehicle safety in front, side, and rear impact crash protection.

Paired with Acura RL and Kia Amanti, Volvo’s S80 was one of the best performers. IIHS’s announced that “The S80 also earns the Institute’s 2007 TOP SAFETY PICK award for superior overall crash protections.”

“Volvo safety has been over 80 years in the making. Our cars are born from a culture that believes in protecting those in and around everything we make,” states Anne Belec, President and CEO, Volvo Cars of North America. “Safety is a matter of cultural pride. Safety is not added on; it comes with the first kernel of thought when designing a new Volvo.”

Volvo’s holistic, ‘Circle of Development’ approach to safety starts from real world accident research, moving through to engineering, testing, manufacturing and coming back to real world accident research. Volvo safety is about Protective and Preventive safety – to help people during one of their worst life experiences: an automobile accident.
Protective Exterior Safety

Protective safety in the new Volvo S80 is structured in the form of a network of exterior and interior safety systems that interact to reduce the risk of occupant injury in the event of a collision. The exterior systems have the task of distributing and absorbing incoming collision forces so that the passenger space is preserved as intact as possible. The body is therefore built in the form of a box-section structure using varying grades of steel, with all the components interacting to provide controlled deformation that reduces impacting energy to the human body.

Transverse Mounted Engines

Like the rest of Volvo’s offerings, the S80 features a transversely installed engine and front-wheel drive. Transverse engine installation provides a controlled deformation zone in the engine compartment and helps reduce the risk of engine intrusion into the passenger compartment in a frontal collision. Even the new V8 is transversely installed thanks to its extremely compact dimensions and effective packaging.

Interior Safety

Interior safety systems assist in keeping the passengers securely in place to help maximize seat belt/airbag effectiveness and minimize the risk of serious injuries. In order to provide the most effective protection possible Volvo Cars has developed a number of unique systems.

A new type of side-impact airbag makes Volvo’s patented SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) even more effective. The new side impact airbags feature two separate inflation chambers – one at hip height and one at chest height. Since the hips can withstand greater impact than the chest, the lower chamber is inflated at five time’s higher pressure than the upper section. The side impact airbags interact with the inflatable curtains (IC) and the body’s network of beams to reduce acceleration loads on the human body.
Volvo’s WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System) – is one of the most effective on the market. In the event of a severe impact from the rear, the front seat backrest and head restraint move together with the occupant’s body, thus damping its movement in much the same way the arms move rearward when catching a ball. In the latest generation of WHIPS, the system’s function has been further developed to provide an even smoother “catching” motion.
A three-piece steering column designed to pivot up and collapse away from the driver through the use of a pyrotechnically charged separation bolt. This helps to better position the air bag deployment process for pending contact with the driver.

All five seats are equipped with three-point inertia-reel safety belts, belt pre-tensioners and head restraints. The highest possible safety requires that all occupants always use their safety belts (which Volvo made standard equipment in 1959 – a world’s first).

Preventive safety – the avoidance of accidents – was one of the most important starting points when the new S80 was being developed. Preventative safety has lead to an entirely new generation of advanced driving and support systems and, of course, included Volvo’s legendary Protective safety.

Accident avoidance is the next step in Preventive protection. Combining multiplexed electronics with advanced software and hardware designs have created a new level of driver assisted technologies. Preventive safety systems transform surrounding environmental activities into usable data to help the S80 driver avoid dangerous situations.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses a radar sensor to help the driver maintain the distance to the vehicle in front. ACC should primarily be seen as a comfort-enhancing function, but it contributes at the same time to more controlled driving when the traffic rhythm is uneven.

Collision Warning with Brake Support (CW)helps reduce the risk of frontal impact. If the Volvo approaches another vehicle from behind and the driver does not react, the system alerts the driver with audible and visual signals. If the risk of a collision nonetheless continues to increase despite the warning, the brake support system is activated. The brake pads are applied against the discs and brake pressure is hydraulically amplified.
Blind Spot Identification System (BLIS) registers if another vehicle is in the offset rear blind spot along either side of the car and the driver is alerted via a visual signal.

Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS) helps stop the driver being distracted by non-essential information in pressing situations, for instance by delaying incoming phone calls or SMS.

Active Bi-Xenon Light – moving headlight beams that follow the curvature of the road – help maintain the best possible visibility in the dark on twisting roads.

Personal Car Communicator (PCC) is an advanced control center in pocket format. At the touch of a button, the car owner can instantly find out whether … … the car is locked or unlocked … … the alarm has been activated … … the alarm has been set off and someone is inside the car.

The information is stored so that it is possible to check if the car really was locked when it was parked, at any time and from anywhere.

Volvo has been building cars with safety in mind for 80 years. The current 2007 model lineup of Volvo cars includes: the award-winning new S40 and its wagon counterpart the V50; the award-winning XC90; the sporty S60 sedan – including the award-winning performance sedan – S60 R and the performance wagon version – V70 R; the versatile V70 wagon and rugged XC70 (Cross Country); the new Volvo C70 – the convertible with the innovative retractable hardtop, and the all-new Volvo S80.


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