Gearshift technology makes Volvo S80 a 21st century choice
I HAVE had nothing but good things to say about Volvo in recent years because new models have shown that the Swedish carmaker addresses full-on most of the issues facing the 21st century motorist.
Needless to say safety and Volvo go hand-in-hand but the carmaker has also taken on board customers’ views to improve and enhance proven models inside and out. The Volvo S80, this week’s drive, is a good example: though not the most stylish of cars originally, it has been upgraded for 2015. But whatever Volvo has done to tweak the look of the car, I have to say it was this particular S80’s mechanical attributes that impressed me most.
The S80 is a large car and needs an appropriate power unit to get it places. The car’s D4 two-litre turbodiesel 181hp engine would slug it out with any comparable large prestigious saloon on the road today. But it was the transmission on this S80 that made the test car perform so well.
This is something called an eight-speed Geartronic Transmission. If you choose to buy an S80 — the range starts at £30,665 with a D2 SE Nav Powershift model — then I would recommend you consider paying out the extra £1,550 for the optional Geartronic Transmission.
This is only available as an option on the D4 model but I think well worthwhile. Geartronic Transmission is a combination of auto and manual gearchange controlled by a microprocessor.