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Volvo S90 T6 AWD: Stylish, sophisticated Swede set for Jordanian comeback

By Ghaith Madadha - Nov 02,2016 - Last updated at Nov 02,2016

Photo courtesy of Volvo

As respected as auto manufacturers come, Volvo has long been synonymous with Swedish sensibility, automotive safety, thorough engineering and rugged dependability. A somewhat left field player dedicated to safety before style, past were not always perceived as luxurious, glamorous or sporty as they often deserved to be. In the process of entrenching its position as a premium brand since the 1990s, Volvo’s latest efforts are, however, the most concerted and convincing yet.

Hot on the heels of the particularly well received XC90 SUV, the S90 saloon and its V90 estate sister are set to take on the German luxury troika of Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW head on in terms of design, desirability and dynamics. Launched globally earlier in the year and regionally in recent weeks, the S90 is soon expected to arrive in Jordan sometime between mid-December and mid-January, when it has been confirmed to The Jordan Times that Volvo will officially re-enter the Jordanian market after a brief hiatus in recent years.

 

Contemporary charisma

 

Packed to the rafters with high-tech infotainment, driver assistance and drive-line technology, the S90 is based on a shared Scalable Product Architecture platform with the XC90, and is powered by a line-up of highly developed, powerful and efficient four-cylinder engines. Both models also share a new and glamorously elegant design ethos that gently hints but transcends past Volvo themes. Done without being a whiff of the overtly retro about it, the S90’s design is a thoroughly contemporary breath of fresh air.

With its long bonnet and long distance between the front wheels and A-pillar the S90 has a distinctly luxurious look to it, while a rakishly sloping roofline smoothly descends to a long rear deck with stylish boomerang rear lights. Generously proportioned with subtle sculpted surfacing, the S90’s road hugging stance looks best when in motion. Its front fascia design, however, takes centre stage, featuring an assertively hungry grille with concave vertical slats and sharp headlights with “Thor’s Hammer” style LED elements, after the mythical Norse god of thunder.

 

Hammer of Thor

 

Powered by a drive-line options exclusively consisting of forced induction 2-litre four-cylinder engines, including turbo-diesel and range topping T8 hybrid, the S90 is, however, offered in turbocharged T5 and dual turbo and supercharged T6 petrol versions with smooth and slick shifting 8-speed automatic gearbox for the Middle East. Driven in T6 guise with four-wheel drive, the S90’s highly developed engine produces a mighty 316BHP at 5,700rpm and hammer-of-Thor-like 295lb/ft torque throughout a broad 2,200-5,400rpm band, yet returns efficient 7.3l/100km combined fuel consumption and 169g/km CO2 emissions.

Benefiting from both exhaust gas driven turbocharger and mechanically driven supercharger, the S90 T6 benefits from the latter’s instant low-end responsiveness without suffering turbo lag. Responsive off-the-line with all-wheel drive traction, the T6 feels abundant and willing throughout the engine speed spectrum. Pouncing through 0-100km/h in just 5.8 seconds and capable of 250km/h, the T6 pulls clean and hard throughout. With deeply muscular and flexible mid-range torque and progressively urgent power build-up, the 1,892kg S90 T6 AWD overtakes briskly at highway speeds and dispatches inclines with confident versatility.

 

Supple, settled and spacious

 

Riding on double wishbone front and integral axle independent rear suspension with adaptive dampers, the S90 is smooth, refined and poised, while rear air suspension can also be optioned for additional comfort. In its element when on motorways, the S90 is stable and reassuring, dispatching sudden dips and crests with settled vertical and rebound control. Well refined from noise, vibration and harshness on tarmac, whether pottering through town or at speed, the S90 processes rough surfacing with supple fluency despite the driven model’s optional low-profile 255/35R20 footwear.

Comfortable and refined yet sure-footed and confidently agile for such a large front drive derived premium saloon, the S90 benefits from good lateral control and precise steering. Entering corners tidily, the S90’s quick speed-sensitive steering feels light and natural, while front grip is reassuring. With long wheelbase and all-wheel drive distributing power, the S90 grips hard through snaking switch backs, as driven in Oman. Meanwhile adaptive dampers — along with steering and throttle responses — can be set to comfort mode for more pliancy or sport mode for more buttoned-down control.

 

Scandinavian sensibility

 

Brimming with luxurious materials and finishing inside, Volvo prides itself that leathers, woods and metals are natural and not man-made. Well-constructed and luxurious, the S90 boasts an airy, welcoming affair and distinctly Scandinavian sensibility and ambiance, with stylishly user-friendly design, comfortable, supportive and highly adjustable seating. Spacious for front and rear passengers, the S90 also benefits from a generous boot. Relaxing but alert, the S90’s cabin is truly superb, with minor complaints being that the gear lever and driving mode selector positions could be positioned slightly more forward.

 

Thoroughly well equipped with standard and optional comfort, convenience and infotainment features, including cloud-based apps, the S90 also features an extensive suite of high-tech driver assistance systems. With Volvo’s latest cutting edge safety and semi-autonomous driving systems, the S90 features including stop/go adaptive cruise control and Pilot Assist, which self-steers at up to 130km/h without following a lead car. City Safety can detect pedestrians, cyclists, animals and other cars, and automatically brake, even at intersections, to prevent or mitigate collision, depending on speed. Other systems include lane keeping and Run-Off mitigation and protection, among numerous others.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine: 2-litre, turbocharged, transverse 4 cylinders

Bore x stroke: 82 x 93.2mm

Compression ratio: 10.3:1

Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, direct injection, variable valve timing

Gearbox: 8-speed automatic, four-wheel drive

Ratios: 1st 5.25:1; 2nd 3.029:1; 3rd 1.95:1; 4th 1.457:1; 5th 1.221:1; 6th 1.0:1; 7th 0.809:1; 8th 0.673:1

Reverse/final drive ratios: 4.015:1/3.2:1

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 315 (320) [235] @5,700rpm

Specific power: 160.2BHP/litre

Power-to-weight: 166.75BHP/tonne

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 295 (400) @2,200-5,400rpm

Specific torque: 203.15Nm/litre

Torque-to-weight: 211.4Nm/tonne

0-100km/h: 5.8 seconds

Top speed: 250km/h

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.3 litres/100km 

CO2 emissions, combined: 169g/km

Fuel capacity: 60 litres

Length: 4,963mm

Width: 1,891mm

Height: 1,435mm

Wheelbase: 2,941mm

Track, F/R: 1,623/1,624mm

Overhangs, F/R: 873/1,149mm

Ground clearance: 152mm

Headroom, F/R: 1,027/961mm

Legroom, F/R; 1,071/911mm

Shoulder room, F/R: 1,460/1,420mm

Luggage volume: 500-litres

Unladen weight: 1892kg

Steering: Speed sensitive electric-assisted rack & pinion

Turning Circle: 11.4 metres

Suspension, F/R: Double wishbones/integral axle

Brakes, F/R: Ventilated discs, 345mm 320mm

Braking distance, 100-0km/h: 35 metres

 

Tyres: 255/35R20 (optional)

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