The S90 is making a strong reappearance today directly from Gothenburg after a long hiatus – it was last used back when the automaker produced the 900 series in the 1990s.
And way to come back with a bang, as the Chinese owned Swedish brand has delivered a sedan flagship worthy of the premium establishment and also looking ready to become a viable alternative to the German executive sedan establishment. It’s been a long road and the automaker looks ready to keep on going even if it happens to encounter a moose en route (more on that later). So, the ageing S80, which was present on the market for two generations will be retired next year by the 2017 Volvo S90. We did know in advance how the longer sedan looked like – thanks to the myriad of scale model mug shots and leaks – the latest being all over the Internet just earlier today. But here, here, the Swedes finally delivered on the highly anticipated sedan during a special official event in Gothenburg, in their home country.
We can see from the gallery attached the sedan is stylish and ready to bridge the gap between traditional three volume sedans and the latest crop of four-door coupes (we would call them fastbacks in earnest). We have a low roofline and a very clear, curvy and sleek design language – which eschews any unwanted styling cues. It’s a Scandinavian take on luxury, we’re all in agreement here – and they nailed the proportions right. That’s also because the S90 is longer (4,963 mm in length, 1,443 mm height and 2,941 mm wheelbase) and riding closer to the ground than the predecessor, the S80 – which would warrant the moniker change as well. The front is governed by the Thor’s Hammer LED daytime running lights the automaker started signing its models with since the second generation XC90 crossover, while the back features an all-new style for the LED taillights, which have been C-shaped.
If you liked the full Scandinavian treatment applied to the XC90 cabin then you’ll go for the S90 as well – as the flagship sedan has decided to cut some corners and practically take the entire interior almost unchanged from the large sport utility vehicle. Aside from some minor modifications operated to the dashboard, inserts and door panels we get the same Sensus Connect touchscreen and button-free arrangement on the center stack. We did notice the fully digital instrument cluster. True to its tradition of enhancing safety with every model it presents, Volvo has delivered the S90 as part of the integral Vision 2020, which calls for no more serious injuries or deaths inside Volvo vehicles by the turn of the decade. Here, next to a wide array of other assistance systems (Lane Keeping Aid, Driver Alert Control, Road Sign Information, Run-off Road Mitigation, Run-off Road Protection, and the City Safety package come as standard, while optional include Blind Spot Information, Rear Collision Warning, Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pilot Assist, Distance Alert, Park Assist Pilot and 360-degree camera), the S90 has been treated to an advanced semi-autonomous drive feature, nicknamed Pilot Assist (in its second generation). Essentially, the system will use “gentle steering inputs” to retain the car within its marked lane up to speeds of about 130 km/h (81 mph). This is not a system to be used at high speeds – it looks to be opposed to Tesla’s Autopilot – as it is mainly intended to assist the driver in cases of highly congested traffic flow.
And part of the City Safety package comes the function that allows the car to detect and highlight (and if in danger of crash, automatically brake) vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, as well as large animals – including the aforementioned elk. The Volvo S90 will be officially introduced to the worldwide audience in January 2016 during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and will come equipped when it arrives in dealerships later that year with a wide range of engines. In North America only the petrol 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged T6, turbocharged T5 and T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid borrowed from the XC90 will be on offer. European clients will also have an assortment of diesel engines, including the D4 and D5.