Volvo has today unveiled their new top-of-the range luxury sedan, the S90 on Gothenburg, Sweden. The second all-new vehicle based on their Scalable Product Architecture, the new S90 will bring the brands latest Scandinavian design inside and out, Drive-E powertrains, and industry first safety features.
The Volvo S90 shares is chassis platform with the widely acclaimed XC90 introduced earlier this year to North America. Its design represents the new face of Volvo that is fast becoming familiar and unique, far from being look-alike.
It’s bold, blocky and upright with formal vibe that says upscale. But at the back they’ve added some unexpected athleticism with the design that I think really works well.
The S90 is 195 inches long with a wheelbase of 115 inches. And with a height just below 57 inches, this puts it right in the same size range of the Audi A6, S7 and the BMW 5-Series. An that classroom is likely where its will compete.
The interior takes the themes and design we have come to appreciate with the XC90 and lays them out in a lower and even more horizontal presentation. With rich materials and trims that are genuine to the touch, its not far from a Copenhagen furniture store.
Front and center is the portrait format touchscreen infotainment and control center that reduces the button content on the dash to near zero. And while this has been tried by other manufacturers, we have found it to work exceptionally well in the XC90.
Power-trains for North America include a T6 Drive-E four-cylinder and the T8 Twin-Engine plug-in hybrid. The T6 2.0 liter supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder has 320 horsepower and drives the front wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The T8 Twin-Engine plug-in hybrid adds an electric motor drive at the rear axle and a powerful lithium-ion battery pack in the center tunnel that brings total system horsepower to 400 and increases driving range dramatically.
The Volvo S90 will introduce a number of segment first safety and driver-assistance technologies as you might expect from the brand. These start with with a new semi-autonomous drive feature called Pilot Assist.
An adaptive cruise-control system on steroids, Pilot Assist can not only monitor and control forward movement of the car in stop and go traffic, but simultaneously keep the car in its lane with steering assist. It is Volvo says another step towards full autonomous driving.
Additionally, Volvo adds to their City Safety system with large animal detection. Similar to pedestrian detection, the system can detect large animals like elk, moose or deer. It can warn you, and follow that up with braking and restraint assist if you don’t react.
Also a first is Run-off Road Mitigation. A world-first technology, the S90 can detect an imminent departure from the roadway, and act to prevent it with evasive steering maneuvers and or braking to support the driver.
While a lot of this can scare some, Volvo points out that with all of these systems, the driver can override them at any time by using either the brake pedal, accelerator pedal or steering wheel.
The new 2016 Volvo S90 is set to make its official North American debut Detroit Auto Show in January and is expected to go on sale by the end of calendar year 2016.