After enjoying the all-fantastic and all-new Volvo XC90 SUV a couple of months back, I was eager to get my hands on the next Swedish, state-of-the-art flagship, the S90, a luxury mid-sized sedan and Volvo’s latest entry in the luxury Sedan segment.
I received my invitation to take on this chef- d’oeuvre in one of the most beautiful countries in the Gulf, the Sultanate of Oman, and the trip was on. It all started with a great welcome by the Volvo hostesses in Muscat, and afterwards, we headed on our way to Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, riding in the XC90 – one of my favorite SUVs- for a 45-minute drive from the airport to our resort. It was relaxing and at the same time full of anxiousness as I couldn’t wait to experience the S90 up close and personal.
Arriving at the resort, Volvo made us feel welcome and helped us live the true experience of the luxurious S90 from the very start. Premium cars require a premium experience, and the Swedish manufacturer was not about to compromise on any detail. The rooms were super comfortable with a view to die for. The atmosphere was so relaxing and quiet, and I even had my own private beach.
With a few hours to spare before the Regional launch of the S90, I took a short break and headed to the beach for a quick, warm summer breeze siesta. Swinging on the hammock, I couldn’t but wonder, would the All-New Volvo S90 be as enjoyable as the XC90 and will it be able to perform and drive like the wide range of luxury Sedans already present in the market for quite some time?
Finally, the wait was over and we are heading towards the regional launch event to meet up with our long awaited executive. As we entered the ballroom, there it was, parked inside under the spotlight, just like a CEO waiting to receive his lifetime achievement award, all wrapped up in a silver tuxedo, shiny and ready to take on the world.
As I approached slowly towards the S90, the details on the exterior started to reveal themselves. The front of the S90 is simply stylish and well designed, with simple yet elegant features that distinguish this luxury Sedan from its rivals, which are heading towards a more intricate approach. The lines on the hood give the S90 a sporty and elegant feel, the vents and the concave grille centered by the Volvo emblem with a touch of chrome sparkles as you move around its front. The lower lip is there for that extra spicy athletic impression – we were admiring the S90 T6 Polestar. One of my favorite elements of the S90 are the superb headlights that are slightly swept to the side fenders and are characterized by horizontal T-shaped LED elements representing what Volvo likes to call “Thor’s Hammer”, the Scandinavian icon, or as we know it today the Marvel super hero. The “Thor’s Hammer” headlights are Volvo’s own lighting signature with daytime running lights. This feature, alongside the S90 fascia traits, give this Sedan a distinctive character of charm and charisma, suitable to make a long lasting CEO’s kind of first impression. Moving along the S90 side curves, the car shows slightly bigger dimensions than its rivals, with a clean cut design leading all the way to the rear to steal the show with exceptional LED taillights, an executive rear bumper shape, and twin dual exhaust for this S90 T6 PoleStar edition.
Just before the press conference started, I snuck inside the S90 to steal a glimpse from the inside cabinet. The interior was a complete reflection of the exterior with simple, beautiful, and chic designs.
As soon as you open the door, the Scandinavian warmth feeling surrounds you. The smell of real leather tickles your nose, the touch and feel of comfortable seats unwinds your skin, the sight of coordinated colors delights your sight, silence and acoustic clear music experience comforts your ears, and the taste of luxury spoils your tongue as you indulge your five senses in the modern Danish art of fine living.
Away from poetry, the inside cabinet has a great functional layout with proper display of all that is needed within the driver’s reach. Volvo’s commitment to excellence is clearly shown in the premium material used inside the cabinet, from real leather, to real wood, chrome, and black trims. What is particularly attractive is the amount of technology used to facilitate connectivity and entertainment throughout the journey onboard of this All New-Sedan. Yet the crown jewel of the interior remains the portrait layout touchscreen, which comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (soon to be released) without a full screen takeover, meaning you can use both your phone and the car’s screen separately.
As the conference began, I was surprised by the amount of technology and safety features installed in the S90, as Mr. Emre Karaer, General Manager of Volvo Cars MENA and CIS, explained. More surprises were headed our way with the detailed approach on the specifics of the New-Sedan, elaborated by Ms. Ozge Ugurluel, Marketing and PR Manager of Volvo Cars MENA and CIS.
The Volvo S90 features state of the art comfort and safety systems that will surely enhance the in-car experience. The new Volvo S90 comes equipped as standard with an advanced semi-autonomous drive feature “Pilot Assist”, a function on top of the adaptive cruise control systems. It gives gentle steering inputs and can guide the car solely via lane markings, without having to lock onto a car ahead.
In addition, the S90 also introduces a first world function for City Safety – large animal detection – a system capable of detecting large animals such as elk, horses, or moose, night or day. It also features warnings on pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles. Combined with Run Off-Road Mitigation systems, these technologies offer an intuitive warning and brake support to help avoid any possible collision.
The S90 has taken the executive driving experience to the next level, delivering high-end luxury enjoyment. To keep up with elegant atmosphere associated with the reveal of the S90, Volvo ended the evening with music, laughter, and a relaxed dinner under the stars, complete with the sound of enchanting waves coming from the resort’s private beach.
The next day was the test drive day; we were looking forward to taking the S90 on a cruise and test its drivability and features. However, not so excited about putting into real test the large animal detection and Run Off-Road mitigation systems; despite our complete confidence in Volvo’s safety features, I mean we are for sure in safe hands but running off large animals and Off-Road spillovers were not exactly part of our plans.
Turning the knob for Engine Start! how cool is that? Then, we were on our way. We took the Sedan for a lovely cruise around the mountainous roads of Oman and got the chance to experience luxury on wheels, feel the comfort of driving, and enjoy the lovely scenery. Inside the cabin, the road silence and complete isolation from the engine and motorway noises was relaxing. On another hand, when music was needed, the musical experience was nearly a theatrical joy. Moreover, we wanted to juice the energy out of that turbocharged and supercharged 4-cynlinder-inline engine coped with an 8-speed automatic gearbox capable of generating 320 Horsepower and 400 Nm of torque, and the experience was beyond expectations.
The Volvo S90 comes in 4 trim levels: R-Design, Inscription, Momentum, and the recently launched Excellence.
In our opinion, the Volvo S90 has enough styling, comfort, immersive luxury, and elegance to compete with rivals from the same sector, and in some points it even exceeds rivals’ offerings. The Volvo S90 is truly a distinctive executive class Sedan, a visual expression that exudes leadership and confidence and can be described in one sentence “Elegance in Motion”.