Volvo’s grand saloon, the S80, has undergone a facelift and now sports an optional FOUR-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) active chassis system.

Volvo’s grand saloon, the S80, has undergone a facelift and now sports an optional Four-C (continuously controlled chassis concept) active suspension system.

A range of design and technology improvements have been incorporated into the S80 to improve the luxury saloon’s position in the highly-competitive grand saloon sector of the market.

"We're talking here about significant changes, changes that will give the model considerably enhanced competitiveness in its segment. Now we are taking a huge stride forward in terms of elegance and driving dynamics too," Hans-Olov Olsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars, said this week.

"We have not succeeded in giving the S80 a sufficiently strong profile on the market in recent years," Olsson said, “But the new Volvo S80 has been regenerated. It's not just a matter of design, but equally of technological refinement and aesthetic feel.”

The car’s driving properties have been improved, Volvo claims, by the addition of the optional Four-C system, which was introduced in the Volvo S60 R and V70 R last year.

With the Four-C system, damping is adjusted continuously in response to road surface quality. When the time comes to press on, the driver activates the FOUR-C system and the chassis settings are immediately transformed to suit a more enthusiastic driving style.

Body and wheel movements are monitored with the help of a number of sensors in the car. The sensors provide about 500 reading impulses a second, measuring parameters such as the car's speed and acceleration, lateral acceleration (when taking a curve), wheel and suspension movements, the steering wheel’s position and how fast it is turned, the engine's current (calculated) torque and the degree of braking.

When taking a curve, damping is controlled so that pressure on the road surface is distributed optimally between the four wheels. Well-balanced road surface contact promotes fast and distinct steering response.

In order to provide roadholding and stability at higher speeds, damping increases automatically with road speed. If lateral acceleration increases at the same time, for instance in a curve, this too increases the damping rate.

The Four-C system requires that the car be equipped with DSTC - dynamic stability and traction control - since the sensors for this system provide some of the necessary information about the car's behaviour.

Another new feature on the S80 range is the power steering from German specialist ZF. This is claimed to provide more direct steering response and increased steering precision.

The new car also features a number of detail styling changes, including entirely new front and rear sections. The bodywork surrounding the re-shaped grille has a new profile with a gentler transition to the body sides and to the spoiler area. The lower air intake has been re-profiled and features a transverse chrome strip that links up with the new-look foglamps.

The door handles are chromed and the door mirrors have been redesigned to cut air drag and reduce dirt accumulation on the side windows.

Changes to the rear include a new bootlid, a chrome-trimmed handle and smaller, reshaped tail lamps using LED technology. The colour-matched rear bumper has a more substantial profile.

Inside the car, there are new door panels and front door handles. Interior trim details such as the centre console and controls are of a richer, darker charcoal colour than before.

The ventilation system controls have chromed inlays and the control panel for the electrically-adjustable front seats is colour-matched to the rest of the interior.

In addition, the gauges in the instrument panel have been redesigned. In six-cylinder models, the dials are of the watch-dial type, similar to those in the new Volvo S60 R and V70 R. The five-cylinder models have a panel similar to that of the Volvo XC90, with thin metal rings surrounding the dials.

A new three-spoke wooden sports steering wheel is available as an option.

Original article from Car