Volvo Auto India has announced the commencement of pre-bookings for the new S90 sedan in India. Customers need topay a booking amount ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh, depending on the dealer.The premium luxury sedan is set to go on sale in India soon at an expected starting price of Rs 57 lakh (ex-showroom). The car will compete with the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Audi A6. The S90 replaces the S80 which has been around for quite some time.
Speaking about the new S90, Tom von Bonsdorff, managing director, Volvo Auto India said, The S90 is one of the most awaited launch from Volvo's portfolio this year. It's got everything you would expect a luxurious sedan to have- the look, the feel and the design without any compromise on the comfort. The S90 comes with a sub two-litre diesel engine and we are confident that it will change the dynamics of the segment in India. We are opening the pre-bookings for our patrons who would like to be the early ones to own the S90."
The car is based on Volvo's Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) which also underpins the XC90 SUV. Thus it shares design cues, both exterior and interior, with its big sibling. The headlights and grille, for instance, are pretty similar. The SPA platform allows Volvo to build various types of vehicles that share components and explains the similarities in the XC90's and S90's cabins too.
Bob Rupani drove the car in Spain recently and loved the opulent interiors of the S90. The dashboard has the same Sensus touch screen infotainment system as seen in the XC90, and resembles a tablet in form and function. This helps eliminate the need for buttons and switches and gives the dashboard an uncluttered look. Non-veneered wood abounds and there's quite a lot of attention to detail. The steering wheel is similar to the XC90's too.
On the first drive, we also discovered that the S90 looks far better in flesh and it's quite a large sedan. It's in fact longer than the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Internationally, the S90 gets a pair of petrol and diesel, four-cylinder motors. Most versions are front wheel drive, but all-wheel drive versions get more powerful engines. More importantly, the S90 gets sub 2-litre diesel engines that gives it an advantage in regions where the diesel ban is in effect. The D4 produces 192PS while the D5 produces 238PS and 480Nm.
The S90 also gets a plug-in hybrid that makes over 405PS. It's available in the international markets and there it will make it to our shores too.
As is expected of a Volvo, the S90 gets a host of safety features which are one of its biggest USP. It gets the City Safe technology (collision avoidance at city speeds ), Pilot Assist (Lane keeping assist), Active High Beam (Automatically reacts to oncoming cars and dips the beam falling on the car to avoid blinding the driver), Park Assist (Automatic steering helps park in tight spaces), 360 degree camera ( displays a bird's eye view of the car ) and Large Animal Detection (Detects animals in crossing the vehicle's path and boosts brakes. It also applies them automatically if the driver fails to react in time, thus preventing a collision.)
Almost all of these safety systems are standard and are radar/camera based and will make it to the model that will go on sale in India. Radar based safety systems were banned in cars on sale in India due to government regulations, however, following the delicensing of some radar frequency bands by the government, Volvo India has confirmed that the S60 will get the above safety features.
The Volvo S90 holds a lot of promise for the Swedish manufacturer. It looks premium, has a well appointed cabin and has a cushy ride which should appeal to the chauffeur driven. In a sea of German luxury cars, the Volvo S90 is like a breath of fresh air. However, we will reserve our final verdict about the how the car performs in India, and how it stacks up against the German competition, when we put the S90 though a rigorous road test.