Unveiled towards the end of 2015, the S90 is Volvo’s second instalment in their current model offensive. The all-new XC90 was their first step to showing how Volvo will look and feel over the next generation of their cars and the XC90 will probably be the oldest car on their fleet in five years. The S90 is a brand new model for Volvo and its set to replace the S80 towards the end of 2016. The S90 looks set to offer massive competition to the BMW 5 Series, the Audi A6 and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. A lot of what is on offer in the S90has been taken from the design cues of the XC90 and it shows that Volvo will truly be classed as a luxury and high-end manufacturer.
This vehicle is available to the Irish market with a D4 and D5 delection of diesel engines. A T8 Twin Engine model will become available in the near future. This is a plug-in hybrid option and between the engine and the power from the electric motors this should supply maximum power of 400 bhp. As far as we are aware, there are no plans as of yet to introduce the T6 engine to the Irish market. All engines have four cylinders and are mated to either an eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox.
After driving this model for the first time at its international launch in Spain, we can say that the ride and handling is much improved on the XC90. On corners this nearly 5-metre machine is surprisingly good, and the yet-to-be-introduced V90 matches the drive dynamics.
The S90 is even quieter inside than the XC90. WHile the XC90 is a refined car, it did suffer from road and occasional wind noise. The S90 is a more aerodynamic vehicle, which is part of the reason for the lower decibels. It also appears that more padding has been added to the S90.
Much of what will be on offer in the S90 will have been seen already in the XC90. This car is super-luxurious and comfort has been high on Volvo’s priorities list. The S90 features the XC90’s iPad-like infotainment system and while this system does look amazing, it may take some learning to navigate it to its full potential.
The S90, and indeed the XC90, are not just showing off the future design language of the brand. These vehicles also represent the future of safety within the Volvo fleet. Volvo’s vision for 2020 is that no deaths or serious injuries will occur in one of their new vehicles and the S90 shows-off a myriad of excellent and first-time technologies which have been especially designed for the purposes of that goal. The S90 is the first of the Volvo fleet to use their steer assist technologies. This system shows some of their autonomous driving technologies and if the car feels like it is going out of lane the steering wheel will receive gentle pushes to keep it on the straight and narrow. The S90 also features the latest City Safety features including “large animal detection” which is designed to offer brake support if the car thinks that you are about to collide with a passing animal.
The car has a wheelbase of 2,941 mm and is 4,963 mm in length - which essentially means that this is a spacious vehicle. Leg room to the rear is an ample 911 mm and to the front is 1071 mm. There are no head room issues at all. The boot offers 500 litres - which is ample, but it's worth noting that the less expensive Skoda Superb beats that by at least 100 litres.