We all know that Volvos XC90 and S80 are safe places to be, but check the "executive" box in participating countries and you could also be in for all the creature comforts that being an exec entails. In addition to the pastures worth of hand-sewn bovine and forests of wood inserts you'd expect, the Volvo also gets eight-inch LCD screens, crystal glasses for the rear passengers, ambient lighting and emblems galore. But our favorite feature has to be the massage chair feature built-in to the front seats. The system works by inflating five pockets of air built into the soft hide leather that inflate and deflate sequentially to mimic a wave-like motion. This is a nice feature for the chauffeur who needs to relax after a long day of getting his Swedish meatballs busted by some whiny CEO. Press release and more pics below.
Massage and ventilation elevate the Volvo S80 and XC90 Executive to the next level
Volvo's most exclusive cars guarantee discreet Scandinavian luxury designed to appeal to all one's senses. For model year 2009 the aura is reinforced still further through a unique combination of massage and ventilation functions in the front seats along with a range of enhanced materials and trim details.
The Volvo S80 and XC90 Executive have been created for customers who want uncompromising ability to relax after a demanding day at work - or who want to get to work totally alert to tackle the coming working day. These are cars that are often used for official purposes. This imposes extra demands on comfort, aesthetics and materials. And not least on the requirement that quality must meet the very highest standards in every single respect.
"Our surveys show that customers attach particular importance to seating comfort and the quality of the leather. This is the reason why we are now updating the Volvo S80 and XC90 Executive with a massage function and ventilation in the front seats, along with exceptionally soft hide in all the seats. What is more, we have enhanced the aura of craftsmanship in the stitching and materials and added several new details, for instance an exclusive analogue clock," explains Lennart Stegland, Managing Director of Volvo Special Vehicles.
Scandinavian luxury for all the senses
With these new features, the Volvo S80 and XC90 Executive reinforce their positions in the luxury-car segment. However, the luxury in a Volvo is not the kind that boasts or demands attention. Rather, it is perceived as discreet Scandinavian care for detail that gently pleases the car occupant's senses.
It can be seen: in the seat upholstery's clean new pattern. On the centre console cover which is now trimmed in soft hide and in the aluminium sliding shutter over the front tunnel console. The enhanced ambient lighting in the doors, in the cup holders and at floor level ensures that attention to detail is also visible in the dark.
It can be felt: in what are perhaps the motoring world's best seats. With perfect padding and soft perforated hide with dual seams. Five inflatable pockets built into the front seats are pumped up and drained sequentially to create a wave-like motion (adjustable at two hardness levels) that massages the lower back and wafts away feelings of tiredness and stiffness on long journeys. Together with the built-in ventilation, the massage function keeps the occupant's body and clothing pleasantly fresh. While the hands rest on a cool steering wheel of wood, leather and aluminium.
It can be smelled: in the hide in the seats, the walnut panels in the centre console and instrument panel, and in the new, hand-sewn leather trim inlays in the door sides. The advanced climate unit together with the meticulous choice of materials creates excellent air quality inside the passenger compartment.
It can be heard: in the quiet inside the passenger compartment at normal speeds and in the muted power of the V8 when the car accelerates. The Volvo Premium Sound audio system, with a digital amplifier from Alpine, audio technology from Bang & Olufsen and loudspeakers from Danish specialists Dynaudio blend together to create a sound experience fully on a par with the best of home stereo systems.
It can be tasted: when one sips a cool drink from the specially designed crystal glasses engraved with the Executive emblem. Both the glasses and the drink itself are stored in the illuminated refrigerator with which the Volvo S80 Executive can be specified.
Tradition with a modern touch
"We aim to create a balance in the interior design between the modern Volvo and the classic executive tradition. Luxury cars are often conservative, with many components and heavy materials. The Volvo S80 and XC90 Executive respect that style but also add features that are typical of Scandinavian design. The clean function, the ever-present aura of craftsmanship. These are characteristics that have been emphasised even more clearly in connection with the 2009 update," relates Maria Thunberg, interior designer at Volvo Cars.
New features on the Volvo S80 and XC90 Executive, model year 2009:
• Massage function in the front seats with the option of two personal settings.
• Ventilation in the front seats.
• Updated new upholstery in perforated soft hide.
• Choice of three interior trim alternatives: dark soft hide with dark interior trim, light soft hide with dark interior trim, and light soft hide with light interior trim.
• New lumbar support setting that uses the same inflatable cushions for adjusting the massage function.
• Centre console cover in soft leather.
• 8" wide VGA LCD screens integrated into the rear of the front seat headrests instead of the previous 7" units. Rear Seat Entertainment factory-prepared for European digital TV (DVBT).
• Exclusive analogue clock set into the wood inlay in the instrument panel. Only in the S80 Executive.
• Additional ambient lighting in the door panels and storage compartments, and in the front cup holders and along the floor by the front seat. Only in the S80 Executive.
• Aluminium sliding cover in the front console that harmonises with the aluminium panel surrounding the gear lever. Only in the S80 Executive.
• Lighting inside the refrigerator. New updated crystal glasses with engrave Executive emblem. Only in the S80 Executive.
• Hand-sewn leather in the door handles. Only in the XC90 Executive.
Sixth sense for safety's sake
Luxury is also about having relaxed control over both one's own car and the surrounding traffic. That is why the Volvo S80 and XC90 Executive can be equipped with all of Volvo's world-leading active safety systems - features designed to identify risks at an early stage and thus help prevent accidents. One example is Volvo's Adaptive Cruise Control which permits more relaxed driving when traffic is moving at an irregular pace, helping the driver to maintain a safe distance to the vehicle in front. The cruise control automatically adjusts speed to ensure that the set gap is always maintained.
Volvo's new Collision Warning with Auto Brake automatically brakes the car if there is an imminent risk of a collision with a moving or stationary vehicle. The system starts by alerting the driver and preparing the braking system for emergency braking. If the driver does not respond despite the warning, the brakes are applied automatically. Studies show that distracted drivers cause up to 90 percent of all traffic accidents. That is why Volvo Cars has developed Driver Alert Control, a world-first in passenger cars. The technology is designed to alert the driver when his or her level of concentration is dropping, for instance on long, monotonous spells behind the wheel. Lane Departure Warning is another new safety system that alerts the driver if the car crosses a road marking without the turn indicators being activated. All these functions have been available as options on the Volvo S80 Executive since the end of 2007.
A driving experience of absolute top class
The engine alternatives in the Volvo S80 and XC90 Executive encompass a wide range of powerful and energy-efficient power-plants that provide a high-class driving experience. There is a powerful V8 engine, the swift T6 turbo and Volvo's high-efficiency in-line six-cylinder petrol engine with a displacement of 3.2 litres. There is also the very latest generation of D5 diesel engines offering a superb alternative for customers looking for diesel power under the bonnet. What is more, model year 2009 of the Volvo S80 Executive is now also available with Volvo's new 2.5-litre turbocharged Flexifuel engine that can run on either bioethanol or petrol or any combination of the two. All the engines are extremely compact and are installed transversely for optimum safety and maximum passenger space. All the engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission engineered to handle the massive power available in these cars. The Volvo S80 Executive is also available with Volvo's AWD (All-Wheel Drive) featuring Instant Traction for extra comfort, driving pleasure and safety. The Volvo XC90 Executive features four-wheel drive as standard.
[Volvo via CarScoop]