The all-new Volvo S90 sedan range is on track to hit Australian showrooms during the final quarter of this year priced from $79,900 plus on-road costs.
This high-tech successor to the S80, which uses a version of the scalable (flexible) architecture that also underpins the new XC90 SUV, is the Swedish company’s rival to the Mercedes-Benz E-class, BMW 5 series, Audi A6 and Jaguar XF.
Volvo cars today told its dealers of the local launch rollout for the all-important new sedan flagship, its most important new passenger vehicle in years.
Kicking off the local launch will be the high-grade AWD Volvo S90 T6 Inscription and D5 Inscription, arriving in mid-October. In November, these will be joined by the price-leading front-drive T5 Momentum and D4 Momentum grades.
The entry-grade T5 Momentum will cost $79,900, the same as a base Audi A6 1.8 TFSI and cheaper than entry petrol-fired 520i ($82,300) and E200 ($80,400). But the S90’s 187kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged engine outguns these rivals on paper.
Meanwhile, the entry diesel D4 Momentum will cost $82,400 ($400 cheaper than the Jaguar XF 20d). The engine is a 2.0 twin-turbo unit with 140kW/400Nm.
Both the T5 and D4 are front-wheel drive and use an eight-speed automatic transmission, with two overdrive gears, from Volvo’s Drive-E family.
Standard equipment includes four-zone climate control, keyless start, an electric boot, LED headlights with auto bending, 18-inch alloy wheels and leather seats. Infotainment is controlled via a 12.3-inch portrait touchscreen as per the XC90 with integrated apps such as Spotify.
Also standard is autonomous low-speed braking that also recognises pedestrians, cyclists and now large animals (not kangaroos yet), blind-spot monitoring, park assist and the company’s Pilot Assist program that combines adaptive cruise control than can re-start the car moving in traffic with steering assist, at up to 130km/h, giving you partial vehicle autonomy.
Up the model tree are the Inscription variants. The $96,900 D5’s 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel engine is tuned up to 173kW/480Nm, while the T6 ($98,900) is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged (twin-charged) unit with 235kW/400Nm, giving a claimed 0-100km/h time of 5.9sec.
The D5 has Volvo’s new PowerPulse system, an electric compressor pushing pressure into the exhaust side of the turbo fan to spin up the turbocharger more quickly, minimising lag.
As per Volvo’s global strategy, all S90 internal combustion engines are four-cylinder units.
Both of the Inscription versions are also all-wheel drive (AWD). This system defaults to FWD but can send up to 50 per cent of engine torque to the rear wheels.
To further justify the almost $20k price hikes to both, the Inscription versions get extra features such as keyless entry, proper walnut cabin trim, ambient cabin lighting, 19-inch alloys and full Nappa leather upholstery.
For comparison’s sake, the MY16 S80 T6 Luxury AWD (the only variant available in its final year) cost $84,900, though in fairness, the S90 is a seismic step up.
Both the Momentum and Inscription come with numerous options, including the $3000 Technology Pack (digital radio, 360-degree camera, head-up display, Apple CarPlay and an extra USB point) and air suspension (about $3760, as per the XC90).
Rounding out the S90 range will be the circa $100,900 T6 R-Design with bigger wheels and other sportier design elements, plus the tech-leading 304kW/640Nm T8 plug-in hybrid R-Design, priced around $120k.
The T8 PHEV pairs the T6’s twin-turbo petrol engine powering the front wheels with a 65kW/240Nm electric motor that powers the rear wheels, the latter also linked to a lithium-ion battery pack located along the centre tunnel. Volvo claims combined-cycle NEDC fuel economy of 1.9L/100km, a pure EV range north of 45km and a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.2sec.
Both of these versions will arrive in the first half of 2017, around the same time as the early V90 wagon derivatives, which we’ll be able to detail at a later time.