Volvo seeks to sustain global growth momentum with launch of S90 premium sedan

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 14, 2016

Not to be outdone, Volvo Cars has made an appearance at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) to introduce a new premium sedan to the North American market. This follows after a positive performance in the sales in the US market. It can be noted that Volvo’s sales in the United States grew an impressive 24.3 percent for the entire 2015. Most notable is the sales performance in November, when a 90% growth was recorded.

This was preceded by 87% in October and 89.9% in December. Most of this growth was brought about by sales of the XC60 crossover and the XC90 SUV. The XC90 SUV is spearheading Volvo’s efforts in 2015 to rejuvenate its product line in the United States, and has performed quite satisfactorily. Volvo forecasted only 50,000 pre-orders but the actual figure was more than 50% higher as 88,000 pre-orders were recorded in 2015.

Now, with the launch of the 2S90 premium sedan, Volvo expects that same success this year with the continuation of the product range renewal that started last year. Feedback has been positive for the S90 since its global launch last month. Members of the world press have been particularly impressed with the S90’s design, which takes cues from the Volvo P1800.

The front part boasts of T-shaped “Thor’s Hammer’ headlights, a distinctive feature that will surely make a mark for the S90 and make it stand out among the rest in night driving. The P1800 is not the only Volvo vehicle the S90 is based from – influences from the highly successful XC90 can be found on the interior of the four-door coupe.

The dashboard and instrument panel bear most of the design references to the CX90. Driving is an exceptional experience with the S90. IntelliSafe Assist is now standard with this new sedan from Volvo. This means that driver can now access features like Adaptive Cruise Control, Distance Alert and Pilot Assist without having to pay additional fees for inclusion.

Worth noting is the Pilot Assist functionality, which ups the safety factor of the S90. With this feature, drivers can make sure that they don’t stray from the lanes that they are driving on even if they’re cruising at high speeds of 80 miles per hour or 130 kilometers per hour. This feature is just one of Volvo’s innovations towards full autonomous driving. Volvo is currently deeply engaged in research and development in the area, with efforts highlighted by the Volvo Concept 26 that also appeared in the NAIAS.

S90 is also capable of large animal detection, which will prove quite critical when you’re driving to states and cities where animals like deer, horses, or elk, among others, make sudden appearances on the highways.

The system detects animals and provides support to achieve the braking and stopping power needed to avoid accidents.

A hybrid powertrain is at the center of the S90’s performance. The T8 Twin Engine hybrid powertrain is capable of delivering 410 horsepower. This engine packages Pure, Hybrid and Power driving experiences into one parcel.

The S90 stands to benefit from Volvo’s recent investments. One of these is an $11-billion investment in a new facility in Charleston, South Carolina. This new facility will employ 2,000 workers and will be Volvo’s first North American production facility.

Volvo had also invested in a highly advanced chassis simulator, which was intensively involved in the development of the S90. According to Volvo Car Group’s Senior VP for Research and Development, Dr. Peter Martens, the design teams were able to achieve innovations in driving dynamics and performance thanks to the chassis simulation technology that was made available to them.

Press Release

Volvo Cars launches its new S90 premium sedan in Detroit, highlighting its commitment to the US

Volvo Cars has chosen the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit to launch its new signature premium sedan, the S90, underscoring its long term commitment to the US market and providing a clear sign of its confidence in continued sales growth in the coming year.

Volvo sales in the US increased 24.3 per cent in 2015, with an especially strong performance at the end of the year with sales rising 87 per cent in October, 90 per cent in November and 89.9 per cent in December, driven by continued strong sales of the XC60 crossover and the new XC90 SUV.

"There are strong indications that Volvo is back on track in the US," said Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President of the Americas at Volvo Car Group. "We expect this strong sales momentum to continue in 2016, helped by the new S90."

The launch of the S90 highlights the ambition of the Swedish car maker, following an $11bn investment and the recent breaking of ground in Charleston, South Carolina, where Volvo Cars will build its first North American production facility, employing around 2,000 workers.

"We have always placed great significance on our presence in the US. That is why we decided to present our S90 to the public for the very first time at the Detroit show, and why we have begun to build a Volvo factory here," said Håkan Samuelsson, President & CEO of Volvo Car Group.

The launch of the new S90 forms the second chapter in the complete renewal of Volvo's product range, which began in 2015 with the new XC90 SUV.

The XC90 received around 88,000 pre-orders in 2015, surpassing the company's expectations of around 50,000 and providing a strong signal that customers appreciate Volvo's new design, engineering and technological direction.

The S90 has been widely praised since its reveal to the world's press in December for its stunning exterior and sumptuous interior. Its proud yet non-aggressive face, characterised by a concave grille, itself a homage to the Volvo P1800, is home to Volvo's new Iron Mark. The T-shaped Thor's Hammer lights deliver a powerful sense of direction that makes the S90 unmistakable on the road.

Inside this low, four-door coupé, Volvo has taken cues from the success of its XC90 model and raised the bar with some stunning details on the new dashboard and instrument panel, including new air blades that stand vertically on each side of the Sensus user interface.

"We created our new flagship sedan, the Volvo S90, as a real game changer. It is classy and cool. The exterior is exceptionally well surfaced with a fantastic stance and the sort of clean lines that are singularly appropriate of a Scandinavian design. The interior masters the art of blending innovative technology and natural materials into an elegant, welcoming and tasteful ambience, Swedishness at its best," said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design at Volvo Car Group.

Semi-autonomous drive

The S90 launches with IntelliSafe Assist as standard. This includes Adaptive Cruise Control and Distance Alert and the advanced semi-autonomous drive feature, Pilot Assist.

The Pilot Assist functionality gives gentle steering input to keep the car properly aligned within lane markings up to motorway speeds of around 80 mph (130 km/h) and no longer needs to follow another car. Pilot Assist is another step towards full autonomous drive – a key innovation area for Volvo, and one which is highlighted at the show with the Concept 26 display, which envisions how a car interior could look and feel in a fully autonomous Volvo.

Hybrid powertrain option

The S90 comes with a clean and powerful T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain, delivering up to 410 hp of smile-inducing power that literally offers three different car experiences in one – Pure – Hybrid and Power.

World leading safety

The S90 also introduces a world first function to City Safety - large animal detection - a feature capable of detecting large animals such as large deer, horses or moose/elk, night or day. The technology offers an intuitive warning and brake support to help avoid or mitigate collisions with large animals.

Class leading driveability

The S90 has also benefitted from Volvo Cars' recent investment in a highly advanced chassis simulator.

"The S90 has taken a big stride forwards in terms of driving dynamics, performance and ride. We have completely redesigned the Volvo driving experience from the ground up to deliver a sense of precision, engaging control and comfort," said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Car Group.

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