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Being that your friend is a mechanical engineer I find it hard to believe he is unfamiliar with the term "R&D" (Research & Development). I have the aging 850 platform and due to a continuing research program in effect at Volvo (regarding safety this is an obvious area of development, just look at the new concept vehicles), I wouldn't pretend that my car is just as or even more safe than the newest platform launch. Don't get me wrong, I believe my 850 is still a heck of a lot safer than many 2002 cars, just not the new S60/S70 replacements respectively.
Your CAD crunching friend is probably all too familar with the trendy cost reduction programs that engineer products at a lower cost, sometimes lower quality. I don't think Volvos growing Safety Development programs have really been effected though.
Just my two cents.
 

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Also look at all the racing development that Volvo has been involved in. Piles of information and chasis data, I'm sure in part has trickled down into current cars in the form of more rigid chasis and posibly accedent prevention (better brakes, high performance radials standard for platform, etc.). I know these cars have meters of rollcages but are essentially built on a factory spec chasis. If there was no development from square one it would be uncompetitive and maybe dangerous as racing classes shave seconds off the laps over the years as technology grows. Have you seen those race cars crash?! Damb right there is some genious in a think tank dreaming up new ways to improve impact obsorbtion. On the down side modern cars crumple like an empty aluminium can and seem easier to write-off than the tanks of the past but the safety to the people in the cabin is worth replacing the car.
 

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quote:

Originally posted by GShyneDM:
neither.. its a defensive driver that makes it safer....
This is true, but say hypothetically speaking a 740 driver and a S70 driver had a head on collision with each other (I'm sure this has been tested in sweden
). I'm under the assumption that the S70 would have better impact absorbtion, better steering column design, more renforcement in the areas that are stressed around the cabin, etc. Ten years of testing and computer models must have yeilded some improvement... unless it is a clever marketing ploy to get us to buy new cars!!
 
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