Long before the S90 moniker was applied to a Chinese-produced front-drive car, it was (for a short while) the last chapter in a series of luxurious rear-drive Volvo sedans. What we have here is a last-of moment for Volvo, and a very rare one at that.
Presenting the S90 Royal Hermès.
Volvo’s released some attractive cars lately, with the full-size S90 and V90 arguably being the best of the bunch. Not wanting to beach its boat on the perilous shores of bad taste, the manufacturer has issued mild visual updates to both for the 2021 model year. Bumpers have been lowered slightly, with LED fog lamps, a new tail lamp design (V90 only), redesigned spoiler, and sequential turn signals polishing off the updated exterior.
The company also plans to make its 48-volt mild hybrid system standard in more models, though this may only pertain to Europe. Most other changes relate to customization, with Volvo offering new exterior colors (including two-tone options), additional wheel designs from which to choose, and some new interior materials — like wool and fancy “leather-free” upholstery.
Building on a strategic partnership announced in August last year, Volvo has signed a framework agreement with Uber to sell “tens of thousands” of autonomous driving compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021.
While reading the report, it was important for this author to keep in mind the challenge in affixing an actual definition to the words autonomous driving. There have been shouty voices in various parts of the internet disputing the terms autonomous, Autopilot, and self-driving. There is merit to these arguments.
Nevertheless, Volvo is working with Uber to create technology that will allow vehicles to move about without a driver providing input 100 percent of the time.
A few years after Alexander Graham Bell beat Elisha Gray in patenting the telephone, someone conceptualized the telephonoscope and the world became bedeviled by the notion of seeing someone while you conversed remotely. Video phones appeared in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927), Jay Roach’s timeless classic Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), and just about everywhere in between. They even cropped up in real life. AT&T tested the waters in the 1920s by pairing mechanical television receivers to telephones before blowing half a billion dollars on the Picturephone a few decades later.
Things are different today. You can easily bring up any number of applications on your hand-held device and video chat with people from practically anywhere on the planet. However, we never really got a dedicated video phone in our cars, creating a compellingly retro-futuristic need for such a thing.
Then Volvo announced that it was adding Skype for Business to its 90 Series cars and I began imagining a universe where I would notify besuited men — face-to-face — that I did not have anymore time to talk because I was much too busy driving. It was a perfect fantasy where I told nervous industrialists which robots should build the smaller robots and who to fire all from the comfort of my mobile office — and while looking them right in their terrified eyes.
Mitsubishi confirms it is going to shoehorn another SUV into its lineup to tempt those utility-hungry Americans.
That, Volvo wants everyone to buy S90s from their beds, Fiat Chrysler isn’t having a dealer’s trash talk, UAW bolsters its ranks, and your gas is going up … after the break!
No? Never mind.
Following up the SUV is a new large luxury sedan, the S90, sharing much with the big truck.
(There once was a time when CUVs were developed from sedans. What a world we live in.)
Forget waiting until 12:30 p.m. Eastern for the official reveal, here’s the new Volvo S90 right here in all its glory.
In addition to everything we’ve already known: Thor’s Hammer headlights, large 9-inch touchscreen, Pilot Assist semiautonomous driving and twin-charged four cylinder engine (with plug-in hybrid coming later), the S90 will get large animal detection as part of its City Safe features.
The moose of Gothenburg fear no more.
Volvo announced Thursday that it would make an all-electric car available by 2019 and offer more plug-in hybrid versions of its cars sooner, starting with the S90. Volvo already sells a plug-in hybrid version of its XC90 SUV.
The automaker’s announced plans follow news that it would make a compact crossover by 2018, likely called the XC40, which would eventually share the same architecture as its V40 and V40 Cross Country.
According to the automaker, Volvo expects 10 percent of its sales by 2020 to be of electric cars. The automaker reported 465,000 sales in 2014.
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