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Heico Sportiv S80 HPC Safety - Volvo's Legendary Safety A Top Priority
30 October 2007
The tautly stretched and gleaming skin of the Heico Sportiv S80 HPC nearly screams performance. But beneath the aluminum-effect paint scheme hides a full compliment of Volvo's safety systems, all fully functioning and ready to protect the vehicle's occupants in the event of a collision. As Volvo Cars has insisted since first showing cars at the annual Special Equipment Market Association (SEMA) tradeshow five years ago, all standard safety systems must remain intact and functioning no matter how extensive the modifications made to the vehicle.
With 350 horsepower on tap, this was especially true of the S80 HPC. The Volvo S80 recently earned the NHTSA double 5-star safety rating for front and side impacts and has held this honor since it was first introduced in 1998. More information on the S80 HPC's safety systems may be found below:
Different Grades of Steel
First pioneered on the smaller S40 sport sedan and V50 sportwagon, Volvo's use of different grades of steel to channel impact forces may also be found on the Volvo S80. Divided into zones, the frontal structure incorporates different deformation properties with the outer zones accounting for most of the deformation in a frontal collision. The more the collision forces approach the passenger compartment, the less the material is deformed. To ensure that each zone has the right characteristics, the quality of the steel has been varied. Four different types of steel are used. Apart from normal body steel, three different grades of high-strength steel are used: High Strength Steel, Extra High Strength Steel and Ultra High Strength Steel.
The Volvo S80 incorporates a number of standard safety systems designed to help keep the vehicle in control in adverse situations. The Volvo S80 T6 comes standard with all-wheel drive. This electronically controlled system primarily routs power to the front wheels. If wheel slip is detected at the front tires power is seamlessly directed to the rear. The all-wheel-drive system includes Volvo's Dynamic Stability and Traction Control system (DSTC). DSTC is designed to help keep the vehicle on its intended course through the use of the braking system. The system also helps to prevent the vehicle from skidding.
Improved Side Airbag
A new side airbag helps the patented Volvo Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) become even more effective. The new airbags have two separate chambers - one for the hips and one for the chest. As the hips can withstand greater forces than the chest, the lower chamber can be inflated to a pressure that is up to five times higher than in the upper chamber. The new side airbags interact with the Inflatable Curtains (IC) and the body's structure to optimize protection. Both the sills and the B-pillars have been reinforced.
Improved WHIPS System
Rear impact protection is also enhanced. The groundbreaking WHIPS system in the S80 has been improved to provide better compliance and support for the head in the event of an impact.
Protection for pedestrians and cyclists was also a consideration in the design of the all-new S80. The front of the car has energy-absorbing features, including a well-proportioned, soft structure in front of the bumper to mitigate the risk of leg injuries. The lower edge of the spoiler has been reinforced and moved forward, almost in line with the bumper, to distribute the impact, on a leg for example, over a greater area to reduce the risk of injury. The shape of the hood has been raised and a honeycomb structure underneath distributes the load on impact, helping to absorb the forces and reduce the risks of injury.
Active Bi-Xenon Lights
To produce an optimal range of vision when driving in the dark on winding roads, Volvo Cars has introduced the Active Bi-Xenon Light - swiveling headlights that follow the bends in the road. Road situations are measured and analyzed using a mini-processor which then optimizes the lighting. The headlights can be swiveled up to 15 degrees in each direction, and have the capacity to illuminate a longer distance when the road is winding. To save wear on the system, this function is disconnected automatically in daylight.
The angle of the headlights adjusts to variables such as vehicle load, acceleration, and braking to help reduce the risk of blinding oncoming road users. The headlights are cleaned by means of an electro-mechanical, high-pressure system that washes one headlight at a time to offer the best possible illumination.
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