Volvo is still as safe as houses

Mabuyane Kekana

Mabuyane Kekana

Subtle looks and its safety heritage makes Volvo a special brand. Showing off is a big no-no, but making good, safe cars is their business.

Volvo Cars South Africa last week added some spice to its range.

The S80 now has a 3,0-litre turbo-charged engine derivative and the S40 and V50 have been enhanced with 2,0-D engines.

The new engines were taken through a laid-back test and proved to have what it takes to challenge competitors.

The S80 and S40 also have a few body changes. The new badge at the rear of the vehicles has made a big difference.

The new Powershift transmission launched in the Volvo S40 and V50 2.0D models is a six-speed unit that features twin wet clutches that provide gear-changing comfort on par with that of a fully-automatic transmission.

As with Volvo's fully automatic Geartronic transmission, the driver has a choice of moving the gear lever manually or leaving it in automatic mode.

But with the Powershift, viewed as the transmission of the future, there is no torque converter as with a conventional automatic gearbox, so there is no power loss.

Powershift gives automatic transmission that permits sequential gear changes, just like with Volvo's Geartronic transmission. The difference is that with Powershift even manual gear changes take place without any time or power losses.

S40 and V50 2,0D Powershift, with a 100 kW-320 Nm 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine is now linked to a 6-speed Powershift gearbox and S40 and V50 D5, delivering 132 kW- 350 Nm from its 5-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.

The S80 gets a smooth power injection in the shape of the technologically advanced six-cylinder, 3,0T producing 210kW of power. This engine delivers its power through the All-Wheel Drive system in this flagship model.