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Safety boasts for new S80

18 April 2006

Volvo says Euro NCAP tests do not paint the full picture on safety and buyers should consider a number of other tests when considering their next purchase.

The Swedish manufacturer claims its new S80 executive car will be one of the safest cars in its class when it appears in the summer.

A Volvo spokesman said buyers should look into a whole range of other tests, including NHTSA (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration) surveys in the US and Thatcham whiplash tests.

He added: 'We believe there is more than one test which a customer can and should research before buying a car.

'A car which does well in these tests is better than one which does well in only one. We don't belittle Euro NCAP, as we feel that it has done a good job of raising safety standards, but feel that we are not a 'one-trick pony' and that Volvo's approach to safety goes beyond maximising the impact test
results in one methodology.'

The S80 features a host of features designed to reduce the chances of a driver having an accident in the first place, and protect occupants and those who come into contact with the car when an accident does happen.

Front body structure
The front of the S80 is divided into four zones, each of which is designed to crumple in a special way during a crash. The outer two zones crumple the most to absorb much of the crash's energy. The closer the crash forces get to the occupants the less the material deforms.

Airbags – standard option
The S80 has six airbags, including new side-impact airbags that have two separate chambers – one to protect the hips, and one to protect the chest.

Adaptive cruise control with collision warning and brake support
This uses radar to measure the distance to the vehicle in front, and automatically checks or increases speed to maintain the distance. The system is a £900 option.

If a car ahead suddenly brakes, a warning is sounded and a red light flashes on the windscreen. Brake pads are also automatically placed on the discs so when the driver does put the foot on the brake, the reaction time is reduced.

Blind Spot Information System
Cameras underneath the door mirrors can detect an overtaking or undertaking vehicle in the driver's blindspot. A red light flashes to warn the driver. The system costs £650, or a £450 upgrade for SE, SE Lux and SE Sport models.

Personal car communicator
Most of us would call this a key. For personal safety, the Personal Car Communicator can tell, up to 100m from the car, whether or not there is an unwelcome intruder inside. It can also tell you if the S80 is locked and alarmed. It will cost £500 from the options list.

UK customers will get their first look at the new S80 at the British Motor Show in London in July, with first deliveries expected in September.

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