The whole Volvo lineup got upgraded for this year. Let's see what's new from the Skandinavians in terms of lasers and wood!

The S80 gets a new front with a wider grille and more aggressive headlamps. The rear was refreshed with some LEDs, while inside, new upholstery colors, wood inlays, a new headliner and the silk metal frames around the air vents and light controls make "the overall effect to be very warm and cosy, like being in a warm Swedish house on a cold night" according to Lena Jiseborn, Director of Design, Colour and Trim. I totally believe her. She's the Director of Design, Colour and Trim... why would she lie?


The S80 will also be available with four chassis setups: the Touring, Dynamic, Four-C and Lower Sport.

The V60 is obviously an S60 with a 15.18-cubic-foot trunk and booster cushions that pop-up from the seats to give a comfortable and safe ride height for children from three years and upwards. There's also a plug-in hybrid version with a five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbo diesel sending 215 hp and 324 ft-lb to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.


The rear axle, however, is powered by an electric motor producing 70 hp and 147 ft-lb. This all-wheel drive wagon has a range of up to 30 miles on pure electric mode, which is great in an urban environment. When gas and electrons work together, this 285 hp sleeper will reach 62 mph in 6.1 seconds.

If you want all-wheel drive and better ground clearance, the XC70 is your ride. It comes with skidplates...

Volvo's best-selling model, the XC60 got rid of any black trim on the outside, while the front and the interior got the same treatment as the Volvos riding closer to the ground. Corner Traction Control now comes as standard to avoid understeer by applying just the right amount of brake force to the inner wheels while powering the outer wheels when accelerating out of a corner. Hill Descent Control remains an optional extra.

What's more important though is the technology packed into the new line up. The dash now features a display with an infrared, beam-scanned touch screen that can be used even when wearing gloves - a world first that shouldn't surprise anybody who has been to Sweden. When at halt, full Internet browsing is available with Google Map and Search, 3D navigation with online traffic info and dangerous zone warnings, Free Parking locator, App Store and a Volvo service locator as well. The cars can also act as a WiFi hotspot. The Adaptive Digital Display can change the atmosphere by changing background illumination.

Active High Beam Control makes it possible keep the headlights on full beam continuously. When another car approaches, a projector module mechanism shades out as much of the beam as necessary. The Active Bending Light system was taken to a new level as well, which now lights up the area the driver is steering towards at low speeds.

Volvo's aim is to "keep moving towards the vision that nobody should die or suffer serious injuries in a new Volvo car by the year 2020." To help achieve that, Volvo's basic active safety systems come as standard from now, looking out for us at up to 30 mph. With other options like road sign reading,  pedestrian detection with full auto brake, or the radar-based Blind Spot Information System and the Cross Traffic Alert, Volvo might just be able to reach its goal in the near future.


 Photo credit: Volvo