Automotive

Volvo turns to hybrid power for new flagship S90

Volvo turns to hybrid power fo...
From the outside, there's no mistaking the S90 sedan for anything but a Volvo
From the outside, there's no mistaking the S90 sedan for anything but a Volvo
View 24 Images
From the outside, there's no mistaking the S90 sedan for anything but a Volvo
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From the outside, there's no mistaking the S90 sedan for anything but a Volvo
The S90 will be offered with a hybrid T8 powertrain
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The S90 will be offered with a hybrid T8 powertrain
The car's flat belt line and broad hips make it look rock solid
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The car's flat belt line and broad hips make it look rock solid
The S90 takes the Thor's hammer front-end treatment from the XC90 and transposes it onto a sleek sedan body
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The S90 takes the Thor's hammer front-end treatment from the XC90 and transposes it onto a sleek sedan body
Volvo has used its scalable product architecture to underpin its new sedan
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Volvo has used its scalable product architecture to underpin its new sedan
Volvo's S90 includes the latest version of its autopilot system
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Volvo's S90 includes the latest version of its autopilot system
The car's flat belt line and broad hips make it look rock solid
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The car's flat belt line and broad hips make it look rock solid
The S90 will eventually be accompanied by a V90 wagon
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The S90 will eventually be accompanied by a V90 wagon
The S90 will be fully unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, but until then details about the powertrain are scant
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The S90 will be fully unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, but until then details about the powertrain are scant
The S90 takes the Thor's hammer front-end treatment from the XC90 and transposes it onto a sleek sedan body
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The S90 takes the Thor's hammer front-end treatment from the XC90 and transposes it onto a sleek sedan body
Inside, Volvo's Sensus touchscreen system dominates the center console
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Inside, Volvo's Sensus touchscreen system dominates the center console
Sensus uses HERE maps for navigation
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Sensus uses HERE maps for navigation
As with the XC90, Volvo has gone all-out to make sure no detail lets the S90's design down
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As with the XC90, Volvo has gone all-out to make sure no detail lets the S90's design down
It's not boxy, but the flat belt line still makes the S90 look as if it's rock solid
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It's not boxy, but the flat belt line still makes the S90 look as if it's rock solid
The S90 is a pretty sharp looker
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The S90 is a pretty sharp looker
Thor's hammer has been rolled out across Volvo's range
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Thor's hammer has been rolled out across Volvo's range
The same focus on soft-touch materials that dominates in the XC90 has carried over to the S90
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The same focus on soft-touch materials that dominates in the XC90 has carried over to the S90
Volvo has given the S90 a new focus on tech and luxury
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Volvo has given the S90 a new focus on tech and luxury
The new S90 will debut in Detroit
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The new S90 will debut in Detroit
Bowers & Wilkins audio will be available as an option
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Bowers & Wilkins audio will be available as an option
Bowers & Wilkins audio will be available as an option
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Bowers & Wilkins audio will be available as an option
Rear seat passengers have been well looked after in the S90
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Rear seat passengers have been well looked after in the S90
The car's body uses a mix of metals for strength and lightness
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The car's body uses a mix of metals for strength and lightness
The interior looks remarkably similar to the XC90's
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The interior looks remarkably similar to the XC90's
View gallery - 24 images

Volvo has taken another step away from its boxy, boring past with the release of the new S90 sedan. Armed with a high-tech hybrid powertrain and a face that borrows its handsome square jaw from the XC90, the S90 leads Volvo into battle against the upcoming Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series, both of which promise to be technological powerhouses.

Leading Volvo's charge is the high-tech T8 powertrain out of the XC90 SUV. The T8 combines a four-cylinder Drive-E engine that produces 237 hp (318 hp) and 400 Nm of torque, with a 60 kW electric motor mounted on the rear axle.

Volvo has used its scalable product architecture to underpin its new sedan
Volvo has used its scalable product architecture to underpin its new sedan

Unfortunately, Volvo has kept the details about power outputs, fuel use figures and for its new big sedan close to its chest, but we do know that it's built on the same SPA platform as the XC90. We also know that with a lot less metal to lug around, the S90 should be significantly lighter than its SUV stablemate. Does that mean better fuel economy than the XC90's claimed 2.5 l/100km figure on the new European drive cycle? We can't say, but we'll update you as soon as the figures become available.

While what's under the hood is important to some buyers, there's another area where Volvo has devoted lots of time and effort. Mercedes is promising its new E-Class will be a semi-autonomous showpiece, packed full of technology that will steer the car through areas without lane markings or actively minimize the injuries suffered in a rear-end collision, so the S90 will have to be filled with some pretty special autonomous technology to compete.

Headlining Volvo's autonomous push is the car's pilot assist system, which will stay within its lane at speeds up to 130 km/h (80 mph), regardless of whether there's a car in front or not.

Inside, Volvo's Sensus touchscreen system dominates the center console
Inside, Volvo's Sensus touchscreen system dominates the center console

As a part of its push towards zero fatalities by 2020, Volvo will also fit the car with large animal avoidance technology that can help to warn owners of elk, moose or horses and then apply the brakes to try and avoid the collision.

On the inside, the luxury focus that debuted in the XC90 has been carried over to Volvo's flagship sedan. The brand's Sensus touchscreen, which Gizmag had a play with at last year's Detroit Auto Show, dominates the center console. If it's anything like the system we tried last year, the Germans will need to be at their best to compete, because Sensus is well designed and slick to use.

From the outside, there's no mistaking the S90 for anything but a Volvo. The "Thor's Hammer" detailing in the headlamps from the XC90 has carried over, while the car's flat belt line and broad hips make it look rock solid.

The S90 will debut at the Detroit Auto Show next year.

Source: Volvo

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