Faster, safer. Volvo limits to 180 km / h. All models from model year 2021, which production is now starting, are affected. The Swedish manufacturer focuses on more safety and sustainability in road traffic. Exciting! Because what will the customer acceptance be like? Will they buy a Swedish car in the future that locks at 180?
I remember ... Years ago I drove American SUVs - from Chevrolet or Jeep, and I found their limitation at higher speeds annoying and sometimes even dangerous. It was probably a wise decision. The chassis, tires and brakes did not meet European requirements. That is why it was better for both material and people to force the brakes on at 170, 180.
But now Volvo? Granted, Volvo drivers are not under general suspicion of aggressively poaching in the left lane. Other brands are clearly ahead. And outside of Germany, the option of free travel only plays a theoretical role, so what could go wrong? A whole lot! German brands live from the Autobahn image. But not only. If you buy a European vehicle in Asia, you get a lot of image in addition to a banked bank account. In addition, the promise to be able to drive much faster than 120, 130 safely. With the unwavering belief that the chassis and brakes are designed for it. That this promise will remain extremely optional is secondary.
Things can disappoint, possibilities never.
Volvo could come up with the idea of saving in parallel with the limitation. On brake systems, on the chassis. The manufacturer has assured that it does not want to do that. Which sounds reassuring. The temptation remains, however, because the temptation to maximize profits is always around the next corner. Hopefully Volvo will resist it.
Back to the speed-limited American vehicles from the start of the post. Your limitation was accepted because there was a lot of vehicle for comparatively little money. This is not the case with Volvo. In recent years, pricing has rushed from what can be called bourgeois. High prices go hand in hand with high expectations. Volvo meets these in terms of design and the use of mostly selected materials. Will that be enough and distract from the fact that the Swede only runs 180 at the front door, while neighbors expensive BMW is much brisker?
Ultimately, the limit of 180 km / h is a question of maturity.
The buyer's. That's what you bet on in Gothenburg. Understanding that resources are finite and life is precious. In principle, 180 are still too fast. The Swedes refine their decision with other components. Cameras and sensors accompany the journey and, if necessary, reduce the speed to a standstill if the driver shows signs of failure. With the model year 2021, the Care Key concept is standard on every new Volvo. It enables the speed to be limited even further individually. To a lower value that makes you feel safe on the go. Or at a speed that family drivers can trust and which gives the owner of the vehicle a good feeling.
It remains to be seen whether Volvo will succeed with the limitation. The trend towards an electric car speaks for an upcoming speed limit in Germany as well. The environmental discussion, which is currently losing some of its attention behind the Corona crisis, also. But cars are irrational things. Just as people were proud to be able to afford the fastest horse in town, today a potent car still seems to have to park in front of the door. It is not for nothing that Mercedes sells the AMG models and BMW the vehicles with the familiar M on the bow like sliced bread.
It's all a question of maturity, and in the end it will show how far we have really come with it since switching from horses to cars.
Picture / Video (1/1): Volvo Cars