By Mike Torpey on 2016-03-01 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Volvo raises the bar
THE most luxurious car in Volvo's 89-year history - the exclusive four-seat XC90 Excellence - has made its European debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.
This flagship model is based on latest XC90 4x4 and features premium leather-clad upholstery and hand-crafted crystal glasses from famous Swedish glass maker Orrefors.
The individual - and adjustable - rear seats can massage passengers, who can also enjoy specially designed headrests, a fridge, two folding tables and cup holders with both heating and cooling options.
Power comes via Volvo's T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain as standard, offering three driving modes, Pure, Hybrid and Power. It means the XC90 Excellence can provide up to a hefty 410bhp.
Volvo is expecting a stampede of interest now that online ordering has begun in some markets, as the First Edition XC90 of 1,927 individually numbered cars - celebrating the year the company was founded - sold out within 48 hours after the start of sales in 2014.
While the car is exclusively available online for now, it will become available for ordering at Volvo dealerships in other markets later this year.
Volvo vice-president Bjorn Annwall said: "The XC90 Excellence offers a sublime and luxurious experience. It is our top-of-the-line XC90 offer and we see a lot of interest from our more affluent customers.
"The additional sound insulation, enhanced Bowers & Wilkins sound system and convenience of rear-seat controls takes the XC90 Excellence to a new level of luxurious calm and comfort."
The Volvo XC90, which starts from £46,250 and is available with petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains, has also been voted SUV of the Year at the UK Car of the Year Awards 2016.
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