Tentatively called S90, the sedan will likely be presented to the public next fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It will be positioned a notch above the existing S80 in order to ambitiously fight head-to-head against popular premium German sedans like the BMW 5 Series, the Audi A6 and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Lex Kerssemarkers, Volvo’s vice president of product strategy, explains that the S90 will look a lot more “distinctive” than the outgoing S80 because it will borrow a handful of styling cues from the Concept Universe (pictured) that bowed at the 2011 edition of the Shanghai Motor Show. The S90 will be introduced as a four-door sedan, and it will spawn a roomy station wagon called V90 a little less than a year after its debut. A long-wheelbase model will likely round out the lineup later in the production run, though it is too early to tell if it will be offered in the United States.
Volvo quietly points out that the S90’s interior will be an evolution of the new XC90’s. That means we can expect to find a center console dominated by a huge vertical touch screen that will run the latest generation of the automaker’s infotainment system and an easy-to-read instrument cluster with digital gauges and a configurable TFT screen.
Since the S90 and the XC90 will share the same modular platform, it’s not surprising that the sedan will be offered with the same engines as the crossover. For Americans, that means the entry-level S90 will pack a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that will use both a turbocharger and a supercharger to develop 316 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 295 lb-ft. of torque from 2,200 to 4,500 rpm.
For a little bit more cash, buyers will be able to order the S90 with Volvo’s fuel-sipping Twin Engine plug-in hybrid technology. Set to debut on the XC90 later this year, the drivetrain will consist of the aforementioned twin-charged four, an electric motor mounted over the rear axle and a smaller disc-shaped motor found between the engine and the eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Volvo S90 is tentatively scheduled to go on sale across the nation in time for the 2017 model year.