New Volvo S90 - specs and prices revealed

First details and pictures of new rival for the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class; on sale later this year from around £32,000...

New Volvo S90 - specs and prices revealed

This is the Volvo S90, a new rival for the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6 that goes on sale in the UK this summer.

What is it?

The S90 is a conventional saloon that will sit at the top of Volvo’s line-up, along with the recently launched XC90, and shares many of the chassis parts and engines with its large SUV stablemate. The car’s styling is more sophisticated than that of the previous Volvo flagship, the S80, with more rounded edges and a noticeably short front overhang that should give the S90 more cabin space.

What engines can I choose from?

Volvo hasn’t released any details on the S90’s oily bits, but the core of the range will be a pair of four-cylinder diesel engines - badged D4 and D5. The D4 should be offered in the UK with front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox, and is likely to emit less than 110g/km of CO2 in that specification. It should also be the cheapest way into an S90, with prices starting from around £32,000.

What’s it like inside?

The S90’s cabin will look pretty familiar if you’ve already been inside the latest XC90. There are lots of natural materials, including a slab of wood trim across the front of the dashboard. The front of the car is dominated by the central display screen - again, as featured on the XC90 - which controls infotainment and satellite navigation, as well as features such as the heating and ventilation.

Will there be an estate version?

Volvo sources have already confirmed that a V90 - a successor to the V70 - will appear less than a year after the saloon. It’s being tipped to make its public debut as early as the Geneva Motor Show next spring and will be offered in rugged Cross-Country spec (in effect a replacement for the XC70) as well as a conventional estate.

Does it get typical Volvo safety kit?

The S90 gets the same range of safety technology as the widely-praised XC90, including that car’s Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving functionality, which keeps the car aligned between motorway road markings at speeds of up to 80mph. It also adds a new feature to Volvo’s City Safety system: large animal detection, which can detect creatures like elk, horses and moose in the day or at night, and either warn the driver or pre-load the brakes to help avoid a collision.

What about its rivals?

None of the S90’s key rivals are standing still. The next generation of Merc’s E-Class is due at the start of 2016, and a revamped BMW 5 Series will arrive before the end of next year. Audi is also working on a new A6 - and all three of these German rivals are preparing plug-in hybrid versions of their cars. 

When’s it on sale?

The first cars aren’t expected to arrive in showrooms here until July 2016 - with the V90 estate due within nine months of that.