S90 takes Volvo back

to large saloon

market

Volvo S90, 2016, front, action
Volvo S90, 2016, side, action
Volvo S90, 2016, rear, action
Volvo S90, 2016, interior
Volvo S90, 2016, instrument panel
Volvo S90, 2016, rear seats
Volvo S90, 2016, display screen
Volvo S90, 2016, door trim
Volvo S90, 2016, boot

RIDING on the amazing success of its latest XC90 SUV, Volvo has driven in with a model that re-establishes it in the large saloon market.

The new S90, together with its V90 estate stablemate utilises many of the features that made the market step back in amazement at the XC90's all-singing, all-dancing Swedish smorgasbord of technological and safety features.

In recent years Volvo's larger cars have never been on a level playing field in competition with the likes of performance orientated marques like BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz.

But its new offering gives an insight on what people may really want from a large saloon.

Ratherfocus on pure performance, Volvo has concentrated on producing a fast car with superb handling that offers relaxed confidence.

It is built around the in-house-designed-and-built Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform which is such a success in the XC90.

This is one of the world's most advanced car platforms and it is no secret that it is aimed eventually at electrical drive.

But as with some of the finest Volvo's of the past there is a high degree of the iconic brand's DNA built into the car with hints of models like the P1800S ofthe 1960s.

Also like the XC90 the S90's controls incorporate what is to all intents and purposes a built in i-pad which centralises much of the functions and does away with masses of untidy buttons.

Much thought is given to quality and feel of materials, making the driver and passengers aware that they are being encapsulated in top class Scandinavianinterior design.

The S90 showcases Volvo's confidence in design and luxury, and its market-leadership in technology, connectivity and, of course, safety.

The S90 is powered solely by Volvo's new Drive-E range of efficient powertrains.

Both models have 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines, which are perfectly matched to eight-speed automatic gearboxes.

The initial engine range comprises D4 and D5 diesels, while a petrol-electric T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid will join the S90 and V90 ranges at a later date.

A D4 Momentum version with eight-speed automatic transmission, tipping the price scale at £38,255 including an array of options, certainly proved the point of relaxed confidence.

This was the lower powered version with 190bhp on tap and was a true 140mph performer with 0-62mph acceleration in 8.2 seconds.

Fuel economy is a claimed 64.2mpg with emissions of 116g/km but the big point this car makes is its rock-solid handling and cornering powers.

It features double wishbone front suspension and innovative integral rear axle with transverse composite leaf spring, giving outstanding driving dynamics. It is designed to provide the knowledge that the car will do exactly what you expect and want it to and you can't ever desire any more than that.

Significant innovations include Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive technology as standard on every version. This takes care of the steering, accelerator and brakes at up to 80 mph to keep you within your lane and at a set speed, and no longer requires a lead vehicle to follow.

Two world-first safety technologies are large animal detection and run-off road mitigation.

Intuitive infotainment and connectivity features, including the innovative nine-inch touch screen system, an intelligent voice-control system and an industry-leading integration of Apple CarPlay.

But you just can't get away from the fact that this car is exceptionally good looking in a hunky Swedish sort of way.

It gives a much wider choice in the numbers of large premium saloons on the market and sends out a messagethat from now on that the Germans definitely are not going to have it all their own way.

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