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Mini review: Volvo's amazing S90 sedan

2017-01-12 07:40

VOLVO'S FLAGSHIP SEDAN: Volvo's new S90 sedan will arrive in South Africa later in January 2016. Wheels24 / Sergio Davids

Egmont Sippel

Wheels24 correspondent Egmont Sippel names his top 10 cars of 2016. Below is his review of the Volvo S90.

Cape Town - As a second act in Volvo’s revival under Geely ownership, the excellent new S90 sedan will debut on our shores very shortly, to compliment Gothenburg’s 90-series of vehicles which has been launched so successfully by the brightest new star in the SUV firmament, the XC90.

Weighty product

The S90 springs from the same scalable product architecture as the XC90, which directly gives rise to the car’s only obvious drawback: weight. 

To put it bluntly: if a manufacturer develops only a single chassis to carry a class of cars, and one of the derivatives is a SUV, the chassis would have to be robust and strong enough to carry the latter as well. Which adds weight.

READ: Top 10 cars of 2016 : Type R, Cayman, Rolls-Royce Dawn and more!

And so be it. 

Because the rest of the S90 is excellent, starting with a relaxed ride on optional air suspension; the integral rear axle with a transverse composite leaf spring and active or passive dampers (as cost would dictate) will undoubtedly exhibit a more jiggly rear end on the big 20” wheels with low 35 profiles, as fitted to test cars during the international launch in Spain, in mid-2016.

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2.0-litre power

In keeping with Volvo’s new philosophy of simplifying mechanical design and production, all S90 derivatives will utilize 2.0-litre power units, tuned for different outputs; the T5 and T6 denoting turbo and turbo-plus-supercharger petrol units, whilst various levels of diesel power will carry D4 and D5 nomenclature.

READ: Here's how much the new Volvo S90 will cost in SA

Performance all around is quite acceptable, especially if you tune into the spirit of Thomas Ingenlath’s beautifully crafted design solutions which resulted in an elegant S90 exterior and a calm and relaxed interior as only the Swedes can do it, what with their specific nous for classically clean minimalism. 

READ: Volvo's new S90 - Svelte Swedish sedan headed for SA

The S90 won’t topple the established guard. But it delivers enough to lift Volvo out of premium, into real luxury. An outstanding effort.


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