The brand new XC90 SUV that debuted last year was the start of big things to come from Volvo. The company was rejuvenated, with fresh and striking design and a level of luxury up there with the best. The new S90 sedan is the second new vehicle in this direction and it offers a similar flavour to the XC90 but in a more svelte executive sedan format.
Design wise the S90 is quite a stunner. It’s a large car, spanning 4,960mm in length and 1,890mm in width with a wheelbase of 2,940mm. The face is very similar to the XC90 but looks lower and sleeker thanks to the sedan form. The side profile is long and taut with an elegant roofline. The rear end however is going to raise quite a few eyebrows and we’re not quite sure how we feel about it till we see the car in the flesh. Either way, there’s no doubt that the S90 is an eye catching design that will definitely stand out from a crowd. This car’s looks will definitely be a factor in the buying decision.
Another reason the S90 will appeal to prospective Audi/BMW/Mercedes buyers is the interiors. Like the XC90, the S90 packs an opulent cabin built with fine leather, wood and metal. The dashboard is dominated by a large touchscreen for the Sensus infotainment system and we love the long fins for the aircon vents. The steering wheel, digital dials, optional Bowers and Wilkens audio system and excellent seats all appear to be taken from the XC90. This will undoubtedly be one of the best cabins in the class.
The S90 will come with a range of powertrain. At the top is the plug-in hybrid T8 petrol that makes 407PS. Then there’s a supercharged T6 petrol and a turbocharged T5 petrol. Volvo hasn’t said anything yet but we’re sure a D5 diesel engine will also be available and that should account for the highest sale volume in our market. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel makes 225PS and 470Nm. In the XC90, it felt quick enough but not very exciting. Perhaps it will feel better in the S90 which will no doubt be lighter than the XC90 although Volvo hasn’t released that information just yet.
Being a Volvo, the S90 is jam packed with safety tech but two things stand out. First is the new semi-autonomous driving tech Volvo calls Pilot Assist system. It uses the adaptive cruise control system along with lane departure assist and steering assist to make sure the car stays properly aligned with lane markings up to motorway speeds of 130kmph. Volvo’s City Safety also gets an update. The system, which automatically applies the brake to stop or slow the car down in case of an imminent impact with a pedestrian or cyclist is detected, can now also detect presence of large animals like deer and moose in the vicinity.
We expect the new S90 to debut in India in the second half of 2016.