Don't bother calling shotgun if you're about to ride in the 2018 Volvo S90. The back seat is now the place to be thanks to a wheelbase stretch for leg-crossing room plus a new standard massaging feature.
For 2018, Volvo is swapping out the American-market S90 with an extended-wheelbase version built in—and for—Chinese buyers who prefer to be chauffeured. Adding inches to the wheelbase isn't the only change. Its rear seat pampers passengers with a massive fold-down armrest adorned with wood trim that matches the rest of the cabin, and the S90 also will keep the sun's rays (and the paparazzi) at bay with standard electric rear and side sunshades. Additionally, a large panoramic sunroof is equipped on all models.
A quick history lesson: Since 2008, Volvo has been owned by Chinese industrial firm Geely. It builds its S90 in two different lengths in two different places: the standard one comes from Torslanda, Sweden, and the longer one is screwed together in Daqing, China. Last year's S90 was the shorter model, shipped here from Sweden. When the 2018 arrives in American dealers later this year, it'll be shipped from China.
This isn't the first time that Volvo—or anyone else, really—has sold a car built in China in the U.S. A couple of years ago, Volvo came out with the S60 Inscription, which follows the same longer wheelbase recipe as the S90 (they're even built at the same plant). The Buick Envision crossover is built in China as well.
Volvo S90L rear seat, Chinese market version
2018 Volvo S90 changes
In addition to the luxury jet-grade rear, the S90 also welcomes a new, 400-horsepower plug-in hybrid powertrain for 2018. It's badged as the T8 Twin-Engine and if you're familiar with the brand's big XC90 crossover, the setup is the same. The T8 Twin-Engine adds a starter-generator motor between the engine and the T6 model's turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. The motor recharges a battery and can provide some extra thrust.
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Other updates for 2018 include a revised infotainment interface and active lane control that can automatically nudge a drifting vehicle back into its own lane if it detects an impending accident with oncoming traffic.
Accordingly, Volvo has upped the S90's price tag by $1,105 to $49,095 for the entry-level 2018 T5, while the more powerful, all-wheel drive T6 comes in at $55,095. The range-topping T8 plug-in hybrid runs $64,645. All of those figures include a mandatory $995 destination charge. It's unclear when the 2018 Volvo S90 will go on sale, although the automaker's online configurator for the new model is now live.