Making its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the S90 will become Volvo’s new flagship sedan.
Following last year’s unveiling of the critically acclaimed XC90, the S90 is the second step in Volvo’s lineup overhaul. The S90 has already earned praise from early onlookers as it simply oozes class.
Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design at Volvo Car Group said, “We created our new flagship sedan, the Volvo S90, as a real game changer. It is classy and cool. The exterior is exceptionally well surfaced with a fantastic stance and the sort of clean lines that are singularly appropriate of a Scandinavian design. The interior masters the art of blending innovative technology and natural materials into an elegant, welcoming and tasteful ambiance, Swedishness at its best.”
The S90 will replace the current S80 at the top of Volvo’s range. Compared to the S80, the S90 is an inch wider and a little over four inches longer in wheelbase and overall length.
Rumour has it that the S90 will be joined by the V90 wagon, but we may see it in Cross Country trim. Volvo’s CEO also wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a Polestar version, which could be very exciting.
Taking after the new XC90, the S90 shares Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture, powertrains, electronics interface and design language. The sedan also uses Volvo’s Pilot Assist software, originally introduced on the SUV, but the S90 gets the second generation which is the next step in autonomous driving and collision avoidance.
The graceful exterior is smooth, long and low. With the rest of the segment moving towards “busier” styles, the S90 stands out with its clean lines.
The large, upright grille gives the S90 a bold presence. The “Thor’s Hammer” headlights mimic the new XC90, but the S90’s taillights are unique.
The S90 also adopts Volvo’s new, futuristic yet classic interior design first seen in the XC90. This is most obvious with the vertical touchscreen sitting prominently in the centre of the dash. However, the silver blades in the air vents are different and distinctive.
Volvo has stated that it will not offer anything larger than a 4-cylinder engine going forward. As a result, the base S90 T5 will feature the same engine found in the current S80 – a turbocharged 2.0-litre producing 240 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It will also be front-wheel drive.
Stepping up to the S90 T6 follows after the XC90 by adding a supercharger to work in tandem with the base engine’s turbo and all-wheel drive. This unit now produces 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Also like the XC90, the top level S90 boasts a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Volvo calls it the T8 Twin Engine, and it can operate in three drive modes – EV, electric only able to drive up to 75 mph; Hybrid, combining both gas and electric power for efficient, everyday use; and Power, where the gas engine and electric motor are recalibrated to produce 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque.
The highlight of the new S90 package is the previously mentioned advanced driver assist technologies.
Pilot Assist works with the adaptive cruise control and can work at speeds up to 81 mph and can steer the car using just the lane marking and doesn’t require a car in front.
Volvo’s City Safety is its low-speed forward-collision warning and automatic braking system. In the S90, it can now recognize and react to large animals as well as the pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles it already did.
Noting the advancement of both these systems in just one generation, it will be unsurprising if Volvo reaches its goal of offering a fully-autonomous vehicle by 2020.
What do you think about the 2017 Volvo S90? Let us know in the comments below.