Volvo has scored a major win in the car safety stakes this week, with its XC60 softroader being nominated by EuroNCAP as the vehicle with the best whiplash protection.
The XC60 also scored a full five stars in EuroNCAP's Adult Occupant Protection category. Considering whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in road accidents, the XC60's class-leading whiplash rating gives Volvo a fairly hefty arrow to add to its already bulging quiver of vehicle safety credentials.
Volvo's Whiplash Protection System (or WHIPS) mitigates the effect of whiplash by supporting the occupant's back and head, while also softening the blow of a rear impact through the use of a deformable backrest hinge. By minimising head movements relative to the torso, Volvo's safety engineers have managed to produce a system that reduces the risk of whiplash by fifty percent (according to analysis of real-world crashes).
The best news of all is that this isn't some fancy-pants technology that's yet to trickle down to Volvo's bottom-feeder models. the WHIPS system was first introduced ten years ago on the Volvo S80, and has been standard equipment on every Volvo model since 2000. Now that'll put your mind - and spine - at ease.