► First pictures of the new Volvo S90
► Big Volvos are back for 2016
► See all the pictures, read the specs
Volvo has shown its new S90 for the first time, ahead of its world debut at the 2016 Detroit motor show. First impressions? The Swedes have transferred a hefty dollop of the modern Scandinavian style from the XC90 SUV to its new saloon flagship, which replaces the S80.
It's packed with new innovations and safety gizmos, as you might expect from a Volvo. Highlights include:
- Pilot Assist Semi-autonomous active cruise control
- Hybrid drivetrain T8 Twin Engine has plug-in tech
- Animal detection Cameras can now detect elk and horse hazards
Volvo S90 UK pricing announced
As of March 2016, UK pricing has been announced for the S90. It starts from £32,555, with two trim levels, ‘Momentum’ and ‘Inscription’ and a choice of two four-cylinder diesel engines, with either front- or all-wheel drive. The V90 Estate version starts from £34,555. First customer deliveries are expected in September 2016.
The UK launch line-up is as follows:
S90 D4 Momentum: £32,555 (188bhp, 64.2mpg, 116g/km CO2)
S90 D4 Inscription: £35,555 (188bhp, 64.2mpg, 116g/km CO2)
S90 D5 AWD Momentum: £39,555 (232bhp, 58.9mpg, 127g/km CO2)
S90 D5 AWD Inscription: £42,055 (232bhp, 58.9mpg, 127g/km CO2)
The T8 TwinEngine hybrid variant will follow a few months after launch, arriving before the end of 2016 and commanding a price premium over the D4 and D5 models.
Twin Engine? Does it have another engine in the boot?
‘Twin Engine’ is the term Volvo’s using for its latest hybrid drivetrain, as found in the new XC90. It combines a turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder petrol engine, driving the front wheels through an eight-speed auto gearbox, with a large electric motor at the rear axle. The battery cells live in the middle, where you’d expect to find a propshaft. In the XC90, the T8 powertrain generates more than 400bhp in total – so it’s unlikely to feel slow.
You can read CAR’s first drive of the Twin Engine XC90 T8 here.
The rest of the engine line-up comprises Volvo’s latest ‘Drive-E’ four-cylinder family, as found in the current XC90. The S90 also shares much of the XC90’s underpinnings. Both the S90 and its upcoming V90 estate sibling are built upon the same modular platform as XC90 (dubbed Scalable Platform Architecture, or SPA in Volvo-speak), which is also set to form the building blocks for an entire new family of Volvo models due to reach the market by 2020.
Tell me more about this semi-autonomous tech?
As seen on the XC90, there’s ‘Pilot Assist’, a system that can look after the steering on the motorway at up to 80mph – think of it more as a more sophisticated form of adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist than a full autopilot mode.
Also new is a ‘large animal detection’ function, linked to the car’s automatic emergency braking system. Stumble across a stray elk, moose or horse on a country road and you’ll get an early warning alarm and, if necessary, autonomous brake input to help avoid bumping into it.
The interior looks swish…
Previewed in the Concept 26 interior shown at the LA show recently, there’s plenty of wood, leather and similarities with the XC90 in there, but with a yet-greater ramp up in quality and general plushness.
There’s another development of the XC90’s portrait-layout multimedia screen, akin to that of a smartphone, with an ever-increasing roster of apps and smartphone-link-up ability.
What are the new Volvo S90’s rivals?
Think premium executive saloon heartland: BMW 5-series, Mercedes E-class, Audi A6 and Jaguar XF.
The S90 could offer a refreshing, stylish alternative, although it’s got its work cut out – the brand-new, well-rounded Jaguar XF’s just appeared on the scene, and all-new 5-series and E-class are also set for launch in 2016. The stage is set for an entertaining saloon brawl in the new year…
When can I see the new S90?
It makes its official debut at the 2016 Detroit show in January. Prices are yet to be confirmed, but don’t expect it to be cheap. Volvo has relatively modest sales ambitions in the UK, and will pitch the S90 as a premium product that’s worth paying for.
‘If we have the right product, price is less important,’ Nick Connor, managing director Volvo Car UK, has previously told CAR. ‘If you have old product that’s less competitive, you have to sell on price.’
Click here for CAR's original scoop story on the Volvo S90 and V90.