Volvo is swimming into a new upmarket pond.
After winning the Truck of The Year award with the XC90 at the Detroit Auto Show, Volvo turned everyone’s attention to its new top of the line competitor, the S90. The S90 represents Volvo’s aspirations to be a respected luxury brand in the U.S. The S90, which will competewith the likes of the BMW 5 Series, the Mercedes E-Class, and the Audi A6, has what it takes to make a splash in this segment. Its killer concave grille and confident body lines replace the current S80 by bringing the car into the 21st century.
The new look makes the car look proud yet not as angry and in-your-face as the A6 or 5 Series. The interior even leapfrogs over the XC90 by putting a lot of attention on the chrome-framed dashboard and its vertical center touch screen. The car doesn’t only look more modern, it also plays the part with semi-autonomous drive, top safety features, and simulator-derived driving dynamics. Volvo’s Vision 2020 commitment (Volvo’s goal of having no deaths or serious injuries in Volvo crashes by 2020) means that the S90 gets extra toys like Large Animal Detection, which will save deer and drivers alike, and the auto-braking City Drive system.
While the T-shaped "Thor’s hammer" LED headlamps will be a likely selling point, the cool light show only hints at what lies behind. Aft of the headlights is a unicorn of an engine, a 2.0-liter four cylinder that has both a turbocharger and a supercharger. Optioned in its most expensive guise, the S90 gets the engine as well as an electric all-wheel drive powertrain capable of a combined 400 horsepower when the car isn’t in electric only mode. Like in the S80, lesser S90 variants will likely start near the $44,000 mark in summer of 2016.