Volvo – SEMA Show:
Volvo trotted out two cars for the SEMA show this year. The C30 by Heico Sportiv is designed to appeal to the sporty youths currently flocking to Volvo dealerships thanks to the new C30 hatchback. The S80 High Performance Concept is for the dads (and moms), who miss their own rowdy days, and who are likely paying for a good chunk of all that gear. (production note: normal)
By Keith Buglewicz
Photo credit: Volvo
Why it Matters
OK, kidding aside, Volvo has always had a fun side. Remember those old 740 sedans and wagons? The ones with turbocharged engines? Don’t tell us it wasn’t a blast to burn the rubber off of mom’s station wagon, and then lamely try to explain why she needed new rear tires after only 5,000 miles. Anyhow, Heico Sportiv is the tuning house of record for the Swedish company, even if it is based in Germany, and it offers a wide variety of tuning options for Volvos. It’s also now established in the U.S., and you can go to www.hei cosportivna.com to see for yourself.
What's Under the Hood
While we all know the S80 is available with a V-8, the High Performance Concept uses a tuned version of Volvo's turbocharged inline-6 engine. It's easy to understand why: increasing boost on a turbocharged engine is the surest way to quick and simple power. Exactly what the company did is unclear, but obviously there was a boost increase in there somewhere, as well as a custom exhaust system. The car also runs on E85 ethanol. The upshot is at least 350 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque powering all four wheels.
What it Looks Like
The S80 is already a sharp looking car, and the refinements to the High Performance Concept enhance its aggressiveness without cartoony gimmicks. The body styling kit features integrated exhaust pipes, LED “angel” lights in the front fascia, and 20-inch exclusive Heico Sportiv Volution X wheels. However, it’s the paint that deserves special mention. The same aluminum-effect paint that you see on trim pieces inside cars is slathered over the entire exterior. The two-week process creates the illusion of an unpainted car, and is so complicated that you can’t correct mistakes; it has to be right the first time.
While the C30 concept had orange swathed on nearly every available surface, the S80 concept goes with a cool blue color. It’s still a little much, but if you’re going to go with monochromatic, blue is probably better than retina-shredding orange. We especially like the door sills with their glowing Heico Sportiv logos and the silver carbon-fiber trim used on the Volvo-signature “waterfall” center stack and the console between the rear bucket seats. The leather steering wheel and shift knob are also nice touches. Considering the starkness of the stock S80 cabin, maybe some of these touches should be available from the factory.
When You Can Buy It
This particular car isn’t actually for sale, but Heico Sportiv is up and running in the U.S., and it offers many performance parts for Volvos. The link is above, and if you’re interested, give it a click and check it out.
What We Think
We all wanted to like the S80 more than we did, because it’s a sexy sedan that didn’t quite live up to its billing. The High Performance Concept’s performance gear pays off the stock S80’s looks even better than the V-8 version, and we’d love to give a similarly tuned version a spin around the block. But skip the paint job…we’d be too nervous to park it anywhere.