Volvo Cars announces two new versions of the S90 sedan, marks a new era for car-making in China

Volvo Cars has unveiled a new upgraded China-specific version of the S90 sedan and a new top-of-the-line luxury model called the S90 Excellence, both aimed at the high-end sedan market, in advance of their first public appearance at the 2016 Guangzhou Motor Show.

The new S90 will be the most premium car ever made in China. Both versions will be built alongside existing S90 derivatives in Volvo Cars’ production facility in Daqing, China, and exported globally, highlighting the high levels of quality that underpin Volvo’s global manufacturing strategy.

“China will play an increasingly important part in our global manufacturing ambitions. Our factories here will deliver world-class products for export across the globe in coming years, contributing to our objective of selling up to 800 000 cars a year by 2020,” says Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO, Volvo Car Group.

Volvo has paved the way in developing China’s export of cars to global markets. It was the first Western car maker to export a premium China-made car to the US in 2015 with the S60 Inscription, which received a full 5-Star rating in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing.

Premium credentials

Both the new S90 models underscore Volvo’s credentials as a premium car maker.

“The first thing you notice in the S90 Excellence is that we have removed the front passenger seat and replaced it with what we call the Lounge Console, designed to meet the chauffeur-driven executive customer’s need to relax or work while on the move. The second thing you will notice is the high quality materials that combine to deliver a well-thought-through and immersive luxury feel,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Car Group.

The S90 Excellence incorporates many features designed to enhance the in-car experience – a full panoramic roof, foldout worktables, clever storage, a heated and cooled cup holder, an adjustable footrest and a built-in entertainment system featuring a large display for work or entertainment purposes. The S90 Excellence also includes a rear-seat touchscreen control interface, a built-in refrigeration compartment and handmade crystal glasses from Swedish glassmaker Orrefors.

The China-optimised S90, which features a longer wheelbase for 120 mm extra space in the rear, will be available with Volvo Cars’ award-winning T4 and T5 petrol engines and the top-of-the-line T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid, delivering an uncompromising mix of performance and pure electric power that makes the most of Volvo’s ‘Relaxed Confidence’ chassis settings. The S90 Excellence will only be available with the T8 Twin Engine powertrain option.

The new cars will come with a host of standard safety features including Large Animal Detection as a part of the City Safety system, as well as Pilot Assist, a hands-on-the-wheel semi-autonomous driver assistance system that works up to 130 km/h.

Volvo’s new 90-series cars also come with the convenience of smartphone integration, incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for convenient access to familiar smartphone features via the 9-inch Sensus Connect touch screen interface.

Both cars will be available with a new CleanZone air quality system that employs an ionic air cleaner, a PM 2.5 real-time monitor in the four-zone air conditioning system.

The new Volvo S90 (all models, including the extended wheelbase version) goes into Chinese production in November 2016, with the S90 Excellence set to follow next year.

South African availability on the two new S90 derivatives is not yet determined.