New & Used Volvo S90: In Depth
The Volvo S90 is a full-size luxury sedan that’s due to arrive in summer 2016, as a 2017 model. It replaces the S80 sedan, and stands as an alternative to the Acura TLX, Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, among others—a tough set of competitors, yet this model packs some impressive materials and technologies, including semi-autonomous driving features.
The 2017 S90 will be built for the U.S. in Sweden and arrives summer 2016.
The S90 is built on Volvo’s new scalable product architecture (SPA), which allows the car to be designed with better proportions than its predecessor—including wheels placed farther out to the corners. The S90’s athletic stance, upright grille, and “Thor’s hammer” headlamp design make it distinctive from a distance, and sporty, while both the headlights and the rear lighting frame boxier details within curvaceous, organic sheetmetal. Interior design in the new S90 is distinctive, elegant, and clean, with a prominent real-metal frame that bisects the dash, holding a large piece of wood, and acting as a nice compliment to the relatively bright, plush interior.
The S90 will be offered in T5, T6, and T8 models. There’s a 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the T5, while T6 models upgrade to a 316-hp version that’s turbocharged and supercharged. T8 models have a plug-in hybrid system that produces a robust 400 hp and allows all-wheel drive. All S90 models have an eight-speed automatic transmission and are built with a weight-saving new structure that extensively uses hot-formed boron steel. An air suspension will be available on top-trim Inscription models, and is expected to bring a more settled ride as well as improved handling.
Dimensional specs haven’t yet been detailed for the S90, but we expect it to make modest gains in interior space, with more passenger room than some other rear-wheel-drive sport sedans its size. Features haven’t yet been detailed, so look for updates on this important flagship sedan.
Active-safety features are aplenty in this model. One highlight—a standard feature—is Volvo’s Pilot Assist, a semi-autonomous feature, arrives in second-generation form in the S90 and now functions up to 81 mph. The S90 also has a segment-leading animal detection system to help identify deer and other animals that may be in the roadway—helping to reduce or avoid a collision.
The S90 nameplate was previously used for the Volvo 900-Series (940 and 960), which were rebadged the S90 for the 1997 and 1998 model year. Those are rear-wheel-drive models that carry a strong reputation for longevity.