Volvo will keep the product offensive rolling with its new S90, set for debut at the Detroit show The S90 sits on the same platform as the 2017 Volvo XC90, and the car is intended to rival the likes of the BMW 5 Series F10, Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212, Jaguar XF and Audi A6. You can expect a V90 wagon too, for die real Volvo loyalists out there. But Volvo won’t stop there, with a go-hard Polestar version slated and hybrids too.
The S90 shares styling cues with the XC90 and is free of too many fussy character lines. Short overhangs and a long wheelbase help it to look big, and it is larger than old S80, if you can recall what that car looks like. Volvo reckons the S90 cabin ‘takes a substantial step up over the XC90’ so expect simple yet impressive styling, the large Sensus infotainment system on an uncluttered dash and plenty of natural materials on display. And there will be a dizzying array of safety equipment.
With the stretch in wheelbase, interior room should be close to class leading as Volvo claims. Expect a mix of twin-turbodiesel and twin-charged petrol engines, an eight-speed auto and AWD. There will be a hybrid version to suit the power hungry, the top 300kW T8 model will see to that, while further down the line there’s talk of utilising a new 1.5 triple matched to the hybrid module to offer an ultra-low CO2 version as well.
On the driving front, Volvo is said to have worked on ‘delivering a sense of precision, engaging control and comfort’ for die S90. The company is hoping its Volvo S90 2016 will appeal to those tired of the usual sector stalwarts, and believes its new car offers something refreshingly new in the segment, particularly its T8 hybrid versions. The Swede is keen to stress that while the S90 will drive well, class leading dynamics isn’t its mission, but rather luxurious comfort.
Although that won’t be the case when the Polestar versions arrive eventually it’s more than likely those will feature a hybrid powertrain. This will make these performance models sit more comfortably within Volvo’s environmental ideals and will also imbue the cars with AWD traction. A swifter S90 wagon is a possibility too.
While large cars aren’t sales stars here, there is still a market for them in the US and China. It’s also an image enhancer for the brand, and the 2017 Volvo S90 is seen as Volvo’s halo model. A highly specified, longer wheelbase version will be produced for the US and Chinese markets, while there is also speculation that a new range-topping model sitting above the S90 is under consideration.