Volvo S90 sedan revealed ahead of Australian debut

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The all-new 2016 Volvo S90 has gone official, after months of revealing spy photos, leaked toys – and very little doubt that it would look a good deal like its big XC90 SUV sibling. The XC90 marked the beginning of Volvo’s rebirth as a top-shelf premium brand, launching with a sharp new design language, new technologies, a new platform and advanced new powertrain – all off the back of a $15 billion dollar investment from its new parent company, China’s Geely. That theme continues with the new S90, the second of Volvo’s brand-new offerings. The same minimalist Scandinavian styling dominates inside and out, while underneath lies the Swedish carmaker’s new Scaleable Platform Architecture. Buyers will find the same powertrains and eight-speed automatic transmission that motivate the XC90, headlined by the four-cylinder petrol-electric T8 plug-in hybrid system. That powertrain offers 235kW and 400Nm in its SUV application, sent to the ground through an all-wheel drive system. Volvo promises a 0-100km/h time of 5.6 seconds for the XC90 T8, and with the S90 likely to be a lighter offering, we might expect the sedan to be quicker still. As with the XC90, the S90 will also be offered in diesel D5 and petrol T5 and T6 form. The S90 will also feature Volvo’s Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving technology, designed to keep the vehicle inside its lane at speeds up to 130km/h. The technology has the ability to operate without driver control, although legislation in most regions will still require hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. A new extension of Volvo’s City Safety collision avoidance system is also featured, this time developed specifically to detect large animals day and night. In Australia, as a recent announcement revealed, this will include kangaroos. Full details for the new S90 will not be revealed until its full unveiling at January’s Detroit auto show, although it is expected that Volvo will position the new sedan as a rival to the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The S90’s dimensions – which are still to be specified – could also see it viewed as a rival to the larger 7 Series and S-Class, although Volvo has revealed in the past that it does not intend to directly challenge either of those ultra-premium flagships. On the styling front, the S90 builds on the look of its SUV sibling, although there are slight cosmetic differences, including a subtly different headlight design and a longer, concave look to the familiar Volvo grille. The S90’s profile reveals the same simple and unfussed design worn by the XC90, matched to a tapered roofline for a more sporting look. A hooked tail-lamp design dominates the rear, forming a parenthetic design as it extends into the boot lid to wrap the Volvo wordmark. The interior will be a familiar space for buyers that have already experienced the XC90, with the exterior’s minimalist themes continuing into the cabin. A large portrait-oriented display dominates the dash, flanked by tall vents and a single row of physical controls. That main screen is joined by a broad digital instrument cluster that sits behind the three-spoke steering wheel. Satin silver, gloss black and wooden highlights round out the interior styling in the model shown here, although Volvo is likely to reveal other trim options in the months ahead. Watch for more on the new S90 to be revealed at January’s Detroit auto show, along with its already spied V90 wagon sibling. An Australian debut for the S90 is expected to occur closer to the end of 2016. Click the photos tab above for more images of the new S90. What do you think of Volvo’s new large sedan? Can it challenge BMW’s 5 Series and Mercedes’ E-Class for premium buyers? Tell us in the comments below. MORE: Volvo news, reviews, pricing and specs