2016 Volvo S90 breaks cover ahead of Detroit debut

Luxury saloon shares its underpinnings with the XC90 SUV

Volvo has released pictures and details of the new 2016 S90 ahead of the car’s planned debut in January. The Swedish manufacturer, which is better known for making SUVs and estates, hopes this model will allow it to finally break into the German dominated executive saloon market. 

Sitting on the same platform as the new XC90, the S90 is packed with new technology in a bid to take on rivals such as the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes E-class and Audi A6. Volvo has developed a semi-autonomous drive system which can control steering inputs at up to 80mph, and ‘large animal detection’ has been added to its city safety system which warns the driver of impending collisions and can apply the brakes. 

Though exact numbers aren’t out yet, Volvo has at least confirmed its new T8 twin-engine plug-in hybrid powertrain will be available – it develops 395bhp in the XC90 with a 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds and a combined fuel economy figure of 112.9mpg. The sleeker body of the S90 should better those figures.

Volvo’s Senior Vice President of research and development, Dr Peter Mertens said: ‘The S90 has taken a big stride forwards in terms of driving dynamics, performance and ride. We have completely redesigned the Volvo driving experience from the ground up to deliver a sense of precision, engaging control and comfort.’

The front end incorporates the new signature headlamps and grille that adorn the XC90 and the body is far less chunky than previous Volvo saloons. On the inside the cabin takes cues from the XC90 - a large touchscreen tablet dominating the dash allows control of the car’s infotainment system, which Volvo says will be the ‘most connected’ system yet. Elsewhere, there are large helpings of natural wood and fine leather.

‘Our idea was to bring something entirely new to this rather conservative segment and deliver a visual expression that exudes leadership and confidence on the exterior. On the inside we have taken the S90 to the next level, delivering a high-end luxury experience that promises comfort and control,’ said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Car Group.

The S90 will make its first public appearance at the North American International Auto Show, Detroit in January 2016 and is expected to go on sale in the UK in the summer.

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