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Detroit show: Volvo reveals S90

Punch on: Volvo is lining up a luxury sedan segment assault, with its new tech-stocked S90 coming to Australia in nine months.

Volvo aims S90 luxury sedan ammo at dominant German execs

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Volvo logo3 Dec 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

VOLVO has ended its teaser campaign by offering its first look at the S90 premium large sedan contender, ahead of its first public appearance at the Detroit motor show in January next year.

The luxury sedan adds another European option in the competitive segment, and is due to touch down on Australian soil in August 2016, where it will bump gloves with strong opposition from BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar.

Its adversaries are not likely to extend a warm welcome, but Volvo says its offering will comfortably slot in with the established rivals thanks to a raft of “cutting edge safety” and up to the minute cloud-based applications and services.

New features include the Swedish car-maker's Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving technology, which combines existing camera and sensor technology for a system that can keep the vehicle in a freeway lane – another step towards full autonomy says Volvo.

The new model will also introduce a hybrid offering to the segment with the company's T8 plug-in hybrid drivetrain powering some variants. The system emerged as an option for the new XC90 SUV, bringing 300kW/640Nm when powering the SUV, but S90 tech-specs are yet to be confirmed.

City Safety enables the S90 to brake for itself if an imminent collision is detected in an urban environment, but also works in a more rural setting for large animals. The system can detect a variety of beasts depending on the region, including kangaroos, following a period of calibration in Australia.

The system was initially tested in the XC90 prior to Australia's first autonomous vehicle demonstration last month, but as the large SUV shares the new S90's Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), many of the XC90's features are expected to cross over.

With its range of new cloud-based infotainment features and innovative safety systems, Volvo Car Australia managing director Kevin McCann said the S90 would continue the brand's local transformation.

“With the launch of the XC90 we made a clear statement of intent. We are now clearly and firmly in the prestige segment,” he said.

“Our idea was to bring something entirely new to this rather conservative segment (premium mid-sized) and deliver a visual expression that exudes leadership and confidence on the exterior. On the inside we have taken the S90 to the next level, delivering a high-end luxury experience that promises comfort and control.”

When it lands, the S90 will go head to head with Audi's A6, the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the new XF from Jaguar. Pricing is expected to align with the competition, which kicks off from about $80,000.

The S90 nameplate returns to Australia after nearly 20 years, following in the footsteps of the 1990s S90 and its V90 wagon sibling – named the 960 in other markets including the United States.

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