I never thought the day would come when I could honestly say I like a Volvo. Well, that happened for the first time when I saw the â€˜out thereâ€™ styling of the C30 and once again when the press release for the feature of this article came across my desk. This is what happens when you combine the safety and serenity of a Swedish car with a bunch of nutcase German after-market tuner chaps â€“ in this case Heico Sportiv, a German tuning and motorsport company.
The Heico S80 Concept pictured has seen its dead straight panels layered in Quick Silver aluminium effect paint and a number of modifications made that transform it from a humble family hack into a show-stopper.
"We wanted to explore how far we could take a special high-performance version of the Volvo S80. Heico Sportiv's impressive track record in motor sports and Volvo tuning made it the perfect project partner," says Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President Brand, Business and Product Strategy at Volvo Cars.
The turbocharged T6 engine has been modified by Heico to burn E85 (85 percent bioethanol,15 percent petrol) - a biofuel that is becoming widely available throughout Europe.
The T6 engine has been tuned to produce around 260kW at 5500rpm and 550Nm of torque between 1500 and 4000rpm. Acceleration from 0 to 100km/h is achieved in around 5.8 seconds a significant improvement on a standard S80 and there is more tuning to follow.
"The engine development is not yet finalized, so we hope to achieve higher horsepower output when the car is ready for SEMA," says Heico Sportiv's president Holger Hedtke.
The Heico S80 features Volvo's electronically controlled All Wheel Drive system combined with specially developed sport tuned suspension. Braking is handled by six-piston front callipers and 355x32mm vented discs. Aesthetically, the specially developed 20-inch VOLUTIONÂ®X forged alloy wheels and 255/30R20 tyres perfectly compliment the unique paint and fill the guards nicely.
The aluminium metal-effect Quick Silver colour is worth looking at in a little more detail. The entire painting process took two weeks and involved a huge amount of preparation. The type of paint used is not able to be touched up once its applied so it was a case of getting it right the first time or starting from scratch again.
All other parts, such as the tailpipe trim, window mouldings, front grill and rub strips are coated with matte finish black chrome. The body kit was handcrafted to ensure a perfect fit and features integrated spoiler flaps, three larger air ducts, integrated LED daytime running lights and an integrated sport grille with the Volvo Ironmark. The stainless exhaust system finishes cleanly with the exhaust tips integrated into the wide rear spoiler.
The interior of the Heico S80 is skinned in high-quality leather - Mystic Blue with colour matched stitching and Heico Sportiv logo, both on the sport-contoured front seats and the two individual bucket seats in the rear. The safety belts and floor-mats are also blue.
Perhaps the most impressive interior feature is the use of silver carbon trim elements most notable on the floating centre console and surrounding the leather-trimmed gear lever.
If you want a closer look at the Heico S80 you will need to head to the SEMA (Speciality Equipment Manufacturers Association) show in Las Vegas which is on from October 30 to November 2.