The 2008 Volvo V70: Your Own Personal Bodyguard

Volvos have long been known for their safety features, and with each new model, those safety features become more sophisticated. Case in point: The all-new 2008 Volvo V70 station wagon, which is scheduled to be introduced this week at the Geneva Auto Show. The third generation V70 features a number of new safety systems designed to protect not only passengers on the inside of the vehicle but pedestrians outside as well.

One of the more intriguing additions, which Volvo describes as a world breakthrough, are built-in child booster cushions in the rear seats. The cushions can be adjusted for children of different heights, and not only provide children with views out the windows but also are designed to work with the seat belts to provide maximum safety restraint in all situations.

For taller passengers (i.e. adults) Volvo has equipped the V70 with the latest version of its head restraints with the Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which protect the head in the event of a side impact. The car also is equipped with an improved Side Impact Protection System, borrowed from the new S80 Sedan, which includes new side impact airbags and stronger side structures.

Another cool safety feature, also borrowed from the S80, is the Personal Car Communicator, a remote keyless entry device that includes a heartbeat sensor, which can not only detect if someone (such as an intruder) is in the car as you approach it, but also reportedly can monitor your own heart as you’re driving and alert you if it senses you’re becoming sleepy.

The other big news is that the V70 will for the first time be available with a six-cylinder engine (as opposed to the five cylinders available in previous versions). In this case, it’s an efficient 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder that produces 235 horsepower. A 285-horsepower 3.0-liter turbo and a 200-horsepower, 2.5-liter five-cylinder also will be available.

Design-wise, the V70 features a more sculpted appearance with dynamic lines (according to Volvo), as well as a black egg-crate grille and a new soft nose that reduces leg injuries in the event you should run into a pedestrian or cyclist.

The 2008 V70 should be in showrooms early next year. If you can’t wait that long, you can learn more about the current-model V70 here: http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/Overview-d518-Volvo-V70.html

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