New Volvo S90 uncovered: get set, BMW 5 Series

Volvo_S90_2016_frontThe new Volvo S90 saloon has been revealed – and the Swedish company insists it is good enough to take on executive sector mainstays such as the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6.

The new S90, Volvo’s second car in it five-year, £7 billion transformation strategy, aims to carry on the momentum created by the excellent new XC90 SUV.

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Volvo admits it has some work to do. It’s been “better known for its SUVs and estates” to date: the new S90 aims to at last deliver a genuine premium Volvo rival to the German sector stars.

Not that Volvo is saying much about the car right now. It prefers to let the images do the talking. It’s based upon the same SPA platform as the XC90 SUV but other than the promise of a T8 plug-in hybrid version, we’re left to muse ourselves about what’s under the bonnet.

And so expect the highly able 2.0-litre four-cylinder D5 diesel engine to dominate sales in the UK, returning double-take fuel economy and pairing nicely with an optional eight-speed automatic transmission.

The S90 will, like the Audi A6, be front-wheel drive but also offer optional four-wheel drive.

As for the T8 Twin Engine version, that will likely deliver extraordinary fuel economy if you’re able to plug it in, although we expect the likely 60mpg-plus of the D5 will be sufficient for most.

Self-driving tech

Volvo reckons the S90 offers another step towards full self-driving cars, with the introduction of Pilot Assist. This semi-autonomous feature will gently steer the car between lanes at speeds of up to 80mph, without needing another car as a guide.

You still have to keep your hands on the wheel, but you in theory don’t actually need to concentrate (or, indeed, look…). Volvo’s updated City Safety will see to that – it has large animal detection so will watch out for moose and horses, auto-braking when they’re detected.

It has “one of the most luxuriously appointed interior and connected infotainment systems in the large saloon segment” too, adds Volvo.

The new S90 will make its public debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

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