Volvo’s new S80 will be in showrooms in July. Featuring V8 power and all-wheel drive for the first time, and costingh between £24,375 and £41,725, the range expands to include two diesels and a new six-cylinder 3.2-litre petrol. Its price range places it against some of the most all-round talented cars in the marketplace. The diesel choice is two versions of the familiar five-cylinder, in 160bhp or 182bhp versions. The petrol range will now feature a 197bhp version of the low pressure turbocharged five-cylinder, that new 234bhp 3.2-litre six-cylinder and tops out with a 310bhp V8 with all-wheel drive. Performance ranges from 0-60mph in 9.0 seconds for the 160bhp diesel (8.0 seconds for the more powerful version) through 7.4 for the six-cylinder to 6.0 seconds for the V8.
The entry-level S, available only with the base petrol or diesel engines, starts at £24,375. SE spec, which Volvo predicts will be the biggest seller, will be available with any engine, gives you leather, 160W of sound, 17-inch alloys, rain-sensing wipers and rear view mirrors that dim automatically. Prices range from £26.925 for the base petrol through £28,050 for the more powerful diesel to £30,955 for the six-cylinder and £38,975 for the V8.
That places the diesel S80 in the midst of the executive diesel saloon battleground: the 2.7-litre A6 is £26,845; the Mercedes E220 CDI £28,485; the Jaguar S-Type V6 diesel £28,895 and the BMW 525d £29,195.
Until the Executive arrives, the range-topper is the £41,725 V8 SE Lux. Plusher leather is joined by bi-xenon headlights, heated front seats and a powered passenger seat. At that price, it is only £2,000 short of BMW’s 367bhp 550i. A six-speed manual is standard on all but the two top petrols, which get a six-speed automatic transmission as standard.
The options list is a treasure trove of minor refinements: heated rear seats; interior materials that meet the Öke-Tex standard to help allergy sufferers; automatic ventilation of the cabin when the car is unlocked; a radar which monitors the area in front of the car and sounds a warning if the S80 approaches another moving car ‘and the driver does not react’; ventilated front seats and cameras covering the car’s blind spots.