One look is all it should take to realize that this is a thoroughly fresh product. The design adopts the same language as the crossover, but in an inherently more elegant form, despite being based on the same Scalable Product Architecture as the XC90.
The S90 promises all the latest technologies for which Volvo has become known, particularly in the area of safety equipment. Full details have yet to be announced, but Volvo promises "world-first safety technologies and highly advanced semi-autonomous features" as part of its Vision 2020 initiative to eliminate automotive casualties in its vehicles by the end of the decade. Meanwhile, the thoroughly fresh and emphatically Swedish interior is dominated by the oversized, tablet-like Sensus Connect touchscreen display to centralize auxiliary controls and minimize button clutter on the dashboard.
Powertrain specifications are also still to follow, but Volvo has already indicated that the new S90 will be available with three engine options dubbed T5, T6, and T8. The Swedish automaker has long since moved on from the engine scheme that identified the cylinder-count in its name, but we'll likely looking at three incremental versions of the same flexible new 2.0-liter inline four: T5 turbocharged for 240 horsepower, the T6 adding a supercharger for 302 hp, and the T8 throwing plug-in electric assist into the hybrid mix to deliver 400 hp.
The new S90 represents Volvo's assault on popular German rivals like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, and Mercedes E-Class. It also goes up against other Europeans like the Jaguar XF and Maserati Ghibli, as well as Japanese competitors ( Acura RLX, Infiniti Q70, Lexus GS), and American entries ( Cadillac CTS, Lincoln MKZ). That puts it in a crowded segment, and gives Volvo a more compelling entry than the decade-old S80 it replaces.
Volvo clearly has big ambitions for the new S90, and is expected to follow up with a V90 wagon version as well (and if we all behave ourselves, maybe a two-door model, too). Much sooner than that, though, we'll have live impressions and more details for you, so stay tuned. In the meantime you can view the official images in the gallery above and the limited details in the press release below.
Gothenburg, Sweden (Dec. 2, 2015) Volvo Cars debuted the highly-anticipated Volvo S90 luxury sedan in Gothenburg, Sweden today on the heels of the company's award-winning Volvo XC90 SUV. The all-new Volvo S90 sedan is a bold entry into the luxury sedan market and sets a new standard with superior materials, technology, comfort and class-leading semi-autonomous features.
"With $11 USD billion of investment over the past five years we have not only reimagined what Volvo Cars can be – we are now delivering on our promise of a resurgent and relevant Volvo Cars brand," said Håkan Samuelsson, President & CEO, Volvo Car Group.
The Volvo S90 will combine Scandinavian design with cutting-edge safety and cloud-based applications and services. The interior makes use of the Sensus Connect touchscreen that debuted in the XC90, providing a clutter-free interior with minimal dashboard buttons.
"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 Volvo S90 introduces another step toward Volvo's Vision 2020, which states that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by the year 2020, through world first safety technologies and highly advanced semi-autonomous features.
Three engine choices will be available: the award-winning four-cylinder, 2.0 liter turbocharged and supercharged T6 engine, the turbocharged T5 variant and the clean and powerful T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid.
"The S90 has taken a big step forward 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," said Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Car Group.
The S90 will follow a legacy of strong sedan sales for Volvo Cars in the United States. Over the last several years, Volvo sedans have enjoyed significant demand at launch, with the last luxury sedan outselling robust competitors in its segment. Volvo Cars has seen an 18% growth in US car sales so far in 2015. The all-new 2016 XC90 has received strong demand from American drivers along with the XC60, which has enjoyed 31% growth in US sales.
"The S90 is a terrific addition to the Volvo Cars lineup in the United States," said Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, "it will continue the terrific sales momentum Volvo Cars has gained within the last year."