► Volvo unveils XC90 Excellence
► It’s a four-seater Volvo XC90
► Not for Europe, China only
The Volvo XC90 Excellence will be unveiled at the 2015 Shanghai motor show, the Swedes have confirmed. It’s a four-seat XC90 designed to tap into the luxurious chauffeur market in China.
Lopping out three of the XC90’s original seven seats makes for a very roomy, high-riding limo - ‘the most luxurious’ car ever made in Volvo’s 88-year history, the company claims. Which explains why it comes with hand-cut crystal tumblers and noise-cancelling tyre technology.
It brings to mind the four-seat version of the last-generation Audi Q7 V12 TDI, designed for a similar luxury brief.
Why whip out three seats in the XC90?
The Chinese market has long favoured cavernous rear legroom; hence the plethora of long-wheelbase saloons designed specifically for the market, such as the Audi A6 LWB and forthcoming stretched Jaguar XF.
Making the XC90 a four-seater gives it access to this market - one it’s familiar with thanks to its Geely parentage. The quad armchairs are repositioned to take advantage of the extra space onboard for maximum legroom.
The individual rear seats recline, chill and massage occupants at the touch of a button. Retractable touch screens, folding tables and fridge complete the luxury touch.
The designer talks
‘This is our new flagship car,’ said Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s senior vice president of design. ‘We have created the ultimate luxury experience of Scandinavian design. Volvo has never launched a car like this before. This is the car that demonstrates what the name Volvo now means.’
Although the XC90 Excellence will be sold globally, the UK market has declined right-hand drive sales. It’s deemed too at odds with the XC90’s family luxury role in Britain.