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Volvo unveils Chinese three-seat S90

Three’s company: The China-only Volvo S90 Excellence will be aimed at chauffeur-driven buyers who want to be able to work on the go.

China-only Volvo S90 Excellence sedan to be shown at Guangzhou show

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Volvo logo4 Nov 2016

VOLVO has revealed a top-of-the-line version of its flagship large luxury S90 sedan for the Chinese market only, days after announcing it will shift global production of the S90 from Europe to its Daqing plant in northern China.

Called the S90 Excellence and set to make its debut at this month’s Guangzhou motor show, the new model is aimed at chauffeur-driven customers thanks to the removal of the front passenger seat in favour of what the Chinese-owned Swedish brand is calling the ‘Lounge Console’.

First shown as a concept at last year’s Shanghai show, the Lounge Console serves a number of purposes for the occupant sitting in the rear passenger side seat, including doubling as a work station thanks to a fold-out entertainment system with a display screen that can be used for work if needed.

The Lounge Console also features a storage space and adjustable footrest, while the rear centre console comes with a fold-out tray table, heated and cooled cupholder, built-in refrigeration compartment, two handmade crystal glasses from Swedish glassmaker Orrefors and a touchscreen control interface.

Other features include a panoramic sunroof, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an air filtration system as a part of its air conditioning.

The S90 Excellence will be powered by Volvo’s top-spec T8 plug-in hybrid petrol drivetrain, which uses a twin-charged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine teamed to a 69kW electric motor for a combined output of a healthy 304kW/640Nm.

Safety equipment includes Large Animal Detection, which is part of Volvo’s City Safety system, and Pilot Assist, a semi-autonomous driving system that works up to 130km/h.

The production of the S90 in China is a part of Volvo’s strategy to shift the bulk of the company’s manufacturing to China, with the mid-sized S60 and related vehicles set to be built in western China at its Chengdu plant, as well as 40-Series small vehicles at a new factory being built at Luquiao, 350km south of Shanghai.

Volvo Car Group president and CEO Hakan Samuelsson said that Chinese manufacturing is the future for Volvo.

“China will play an increasingly important part in our global manufacturing ambitions,” he said.

“Our factories here will deliver world-class products for export across the globe in coming years, contributing to our objective of selling up to 800,000 cars a year by 2020.”

Volvo Car Australia managing director Kevin McCann said that he would be open to importing Chinese-built Volvos in the future, as they will be built to global Volvo Car Manufacturing System (VCMS) standards.

“If there was ever a model that was built in a Chinese factory that suited our market, we wouldn’t baulk at the idea that it is built in China because we know that our global standards are the same,” he said.

The S90 Excellence will be available for sale in China in 2017, following the start of Chinese production of the S90 in November.

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