In a bid to beat the Germans at their own game, Volvo have unveiled the new S90 at the North American International Auto Show. Taking on the likes of the Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6 as well as the Jaguar XF, the Volvo S90 comes with the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain which delivers up to 410 bhp, whilst aiming to be the cleanest engine line-up in it’s class. The S90 is also available with the D4 and D5 diesel engines.
The launch if the new S90 is the second instalment in a complete revival of Volvo’s range, following the success of the new XC90 on which this new luxury saloon is based. The exterior styling of the Volvo S90 is described by the company as ‘elegant’ and ‘sophisticated’ with more graceful lines and contemporary profile this new model certainly moves away from chunky Volvo saloon designs of old.
On the inside, many design cues have been taken from the new XC90 in search for continuity for the new line-up, with the juxtaposition of natural materials and the technology of the portrait infotainment display, the S90 doesn’t look out of place in it’s intended market. “The interior masters the art of blending innovative technology and natural materials into an elegant, welcoming and tasteful ambience – Swedishness at its best,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President of Design at Volvo.
The saloon also features the XC90’s semi-autonomous drive system, IntelliSafe Assist, as standard. This system includes Distance Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control and Pilot Assist – being it’s semi-autonomous drive feature. Pilot Assist no longer needs to be following another car, but looks at the lane markings and gives gentle steering input to stay within the lane for motorway speeds up to 80mph. A new safety feature is also featured in the form of large animal detection where the car will detect animals such as deer or horses during the night or daytime and gives a warning as well as brake support to minimise the chance of a collision.
The new S90 also reaps the benefits of Volvo’s new chassis simulator to improve drivability. Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Volvo, Dr Peter Mertens said, “The S90 has taken a big stride forwards in terms of driving dynamics, performance and ride. We have completely redesigned the Volvo driving experience from the ground up to deliver a sense of precision, engaging control and comfort.”
We will find out if the Volvo S90 can break the German grip of the executive car market when it arrives in UK dealers this Summer.