The wraps have come off of the all-new 2017 Volvo S90 which debuts at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. As promised, the new flagship of Volvo's sedan fleet leverages design and engineering elements introduced on the XC90 SUV and boasts a sophisticated style that steps well beyond the more traditional S80 4-door it replaces. In keeping with the automaker's stated goal that no one should die or be seriously injured in one of its vehicles by 2020, the new S90 also features a number of new safety technologies as well as semi-autonomous operating capabilities. These include the firm's "Pilot Assist" lane-keeping/adaptive-cruise system as well as the world's first application of a large-animal detection system.

Looking sharp   

"Our idea was to bring something entirely new to this rather conservative segment and deliver a visual expression that exudes leadership and confidence on the exterior," noted Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Car Group, at the reveal. To that end, the striking S90 embodies a number of cues originally seen on the Volvo Concept Coupe and Concept Estate show cars. In addition to being slightly wider than the S80, this new 4-door also boasts a 4.1-inch longer wheelbase, a significant stretch that should make it considerably more accommodating for all within. 

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Scandinavian sensibility also permeates the S90's elegantly understated passenger compartment. Like the XC90, its feature-rich cabin has a clean, uncluttered appearance that integrates organic materials like wood and leather with leading-edge technology highlighted by a digital instrument cluster, the automaker's Sensus Connect touchscreen, 4-zone climate control and superbly designed seats.   

Driving towards perfection 

Although spun from the same new SPA (Scalable Platform Architecture) found beneath the XC90, the new S90 features bespoke chassis tuning. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President of R&D at Volvo Car Group, says the goal was to completely reinvent the fundamental character of this vehicle in a way that would "deliver a sense of precision, engaging control and comfort" that take it beyond the S80 in overall driving dynamics. 

Here in America, S90 is slated to offer three different powertrains, all featuring the firm's 2.0-liter Drive-E 4-cylinder engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The entry level front-drive S90 T5 will come with a turbocharged version that makes 240 horsepower in the current S60/V60 while the S90 T6 AWD will be fitted with the same supercharged/turbocharged unit that develops 316 horses in the XC90. Topping the range is the S90 T8 Twin Engine AWD. Here too, Volvo's gasoline/electric plug-in hybrid is expected to offer the same 400-horse combined output as it does in the XC90. 

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Due in showrooms next summer, the 2017 Volvo S90 Sedan will go head to head with key European rivals like the BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XF and Mercedes-Benz E-Class as well as other premium 4-door models like the Cadillac CTS, Infiniti Q70 and Lexus GS. Pricing, packaging and specifics on trim levels will be released closer to the on-sale date. 


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