Volvo is confidently set to take on the dominant German marques in the premium luxury saloon with its brand new S90, giving what it claims will be its ‘entry ticket to the premium saloon club’, a sector that Volvo has actually occupied for decades with mixed results, since the launch of its boxy but good 760 GLE in 1982.
Volvo says that the S90 marks a giant step forward for the Swedish car brand, better known today for its SUVs and estate cars, rather than premium saloon models. Now owned by the giant Chinese automotive group Geely, Volvo seems intent on shaking up the prestige saloon segment with its distinctive and stylish new executive four-door, equipping the S90 with a host of new technologies, ranging from cutting-edge safety to cloud-based apps and services.
Set to make its public debut at the NAIAS show in Detroit next month, the all-new Volvo saloon will be equipped with an advanced semi-autonomous drive feature, Pilot Assist. This system provides gentle steering inputs to keep the car properly aligned within lane markings up to motorway speeds of around 80mph, negating the need to follow another car, ultimately leading longer-term towards a full autonomous drive system – a key innovation area for Volvo.
The Volvo S90 also introduces a world-first function to occupant safety – large animal detection – a system capable of detecting sizeable animals such as cattle, horses, elk or moose, night or day. This pioneering technology offers an intuitive warning and brake support to help the driver avoid a collision.
Volvo also claims that the S90 has taken great strides forward in driving dynamics, performance and ride, areas where previous large Volvo saloons were left wanting, with the new model benefitted from Volvo Cars’ recent investment in a highly advanced chassis simulator to deliver a stronger sense of precision, engaging control and comfort.
The S90 will be fitted with a powerful and efficient T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain, and will offer a modern and luxurious Scandinavian inspired interior that Volvo claims takes the new model to the next level, delivering a high-end luxury experience that promises comfort and control, aided by a state-of-the-art connected infotainment system said to be class leading.
Commenting on the Swedish car brand’s continuing transformation at the announcement of the new S90, Håkan Samuelsson, the President and CEO of Volvo Car Group, said: ‘With the launch of the XC90, we made a clear statement of intent. We are now clearly and firmly in the game. With $11 USD billion of investment over the past five years, we have not only reimagined what Volvo Cars can be – we are now delivering on our promise of a resurgent and relevant Volvo Cars brand.’
Pictures and video courtesy of Volvo