Currently reading: Volvo begins introduction of 112mph speed limit
Swedish firm says new speed cap is designed to spark discussion, help owners become better drivers

Volvo has begun the introduction of a 112mph speed cap for all its cars, with the head of the firm’s Safety Centre saying the move is not about limiting owners, but helping them to be "the best drivers they can possibly be".

The Swedish firm announced the limit last year, as part of a wider safety plan to help reduce road traffic deaths to zero. The speed cap is now being rolled across its whole range as new model year updates are introduced. Previously, top speeds ranged from 118mph to 155mph.

All Volvo vehicles will also feature a new Care Key, which will allow owners to set additional limits on the top speed of vehicles, of between 31mph and 112mph. It will also allow owners who lend their car to family members to prevent them from going above a certain speed.

“We believe that a car maker has a responsibility to help improve traffic safety,” said Malin Ekholm, who heads the Volvo Cars Safety Centre. 

The 112mph cap still exceeds regulations in virtually every country, but Ekholm said it was intended to serve to both limit speeds and to promote a discussion on safety. “We decided there really is no reason to go faster than 112mph” Ekholm told Autocar. “112mph is still fast, so is that going to be the end of speeding? No, it’s not, but it’s still a limitation. Everyone talks about speed and speeding, and we wanted to do something to show that we’re serious.”

Ekholm said that, since it was announced, the reaction of Volvo customers to the speed cap had largely been “very supportive”. She added: “I’m happy the majority of people have been positive in saying we’re doing something by talking about the issue and taking action.

“There are always sceptics, because the challenge with human behavioural aspects is that the issue of speed is connected to how our brains are programmed. We’re not programmed to comprehend speed at a high level, so how can we do that in a nice way? How do we balance the freedom to move with safety? The speed cap is the first step in looking into what is safe speed - and how do we help you maintain it?

“As a car manufacturer we want to bring to the table the tool box that we have, which includes speed caps, and look at how we can make drivers the best that they can be in every single situation. It’s about how we can do that in a way that it’s understood it’s a help and not a Big Brother approach.”

Volvo is also looking at the issues of driver intoxication and distraction, which it plans to address by installing driver monitoring systems in the near future.


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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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odie_the_dog 21 May 2020

I wonder if this will deter

I wonder if this will deter police forces from using Volvos as they have a clear requirement to exceed 112mph for pursuit purposes. 

Just Saying 21 May 2020

Volvo and Ferrari

Ferrari and Volvo marketing people are very similar!
Both appeal to extreme opposite s. Fast and showy v slow and safe.
Introducing 112mph max personifies their customers.
Ferrari introduce; Limited to 155mph. It will happen and Volvo will be smirking from ear to ear.
mrking 21 May 2020

Totally Disagree

No manufacturer has done more than Volvo to improve car safety not just this year or last year but over many many years. Remember they invented the seat belt and then let everyone copy it totally free of any cost or restriction. To snipe away at them for this move is just wrong, imho of course!