If you buy any new Volvo, you won’t be able to drive it over 112mph. Having announced its intention to introduce a 180kmh electronic speed limiter last year, the Swedish company has confirmed that all its models now include the cap.
In addition to the new electronically-imposed top speed, every Volvo is now supplied with a ‘Care Key’. This lets you set even lower limits, just in case you have self-control issues, or are perhaps going to lend the car to someone less experienced. And/or untrustworthy.
Is the imposed limit - much lower than the industry’s de rigueur 155mph buffers - actually an issue? Probably not. Even Volvo’s sportier models like the V60 T8 Engineered by Polestar don’t exactly lend themselves to track work or Vmax-style airfield runs, and unless you’re driving on a de-restricted chunk of German autobahn, hitting that 112mph limiter is probably going to involve illegal speeds.
Volvo’s move pre-empts new EU legislation which will see all new cars fitted with mandatory speed limiters from 2022, with pre-existing models complying by 2024. Unlike Volvo’s new 112mph cap, these will adapt to the speed limit of whichever road the car is driving on, with drivers given the ability to override them.
In a press release, Volvo said of its new top speed limiters:
“The top speed limit has proven to be controversial since it was announced, with some observers questioning the rights of car makers to impose such limitations through available technology.
Yet Volvo Cars believes it has an obligation to continue its tradition of being a pioneer in the discussion around the rights and obligations of car makers to take action that can ultimately save lives, even if this means losing potential customers.
The problem with speeding is that above certain speeds, in-car safety technology and smart infrastructure design are no longer enough to avoid severe injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident.”