A decade and a half ago Volvo cars had a reputation for being a bit tank-like to drive but very safe. Since then Volvo’s image has certainly changed with a stream of stylish models that offer great drivability having arrived since the first 850 was launched in the mid-nineties, but its reputation for safe cars has not diminished.
Key to this is the ability to replicate road accidents in the greatest detail possible - this contributes to world-class crash safety
Volvo Cars' crash-test laboratory in Torslanda turns 10 this year - and the almost 3,000 full-scale tests that have been carried out during the high-tech facility's first decade have helped give Volvo owners even safer cars.
"We can replicate most of the incident and accident scenarios that take place out on the roads. By analysing these and then testing new safety technology in the crash-test laboratory, we can improve the safety level in our cars so that they become even safer in real-life traffic conditions," says Thomas Broberg, senior safety advisor at Volvo Cars.
When the new safety centre was inaugurated by Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf in early 2000, it was one of the most advanced in the car industry - a position it has retained over the years thanks to the continuous implementation of new equipment and new test methods.