The Swedish automaker Volvo – now owned by Chinese conglomerate Geely – has indicated all its new car models launched after 2019 will be electric or hybrids. Volvo will continue to produce pure combustion-engine models launched before that date, but its move signals the eventual end of nearly a century of Volvos powered by ICE engines.
The S90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid sedan is the latest car electrified by Volvo. The 4-door hybrid All-Wheel-Drive variant has what’s called a T8 Twin Engine – not 2 engines, but rather a 4-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged engine, plus a pair of electric motors. An 8-speed automatic gearbox transmits torque from the engine to the front wheels, while a 10.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack feeds Motor #1 positioned near the rear axle; Motor #2 integrates with the transaxle and has engine-starting duties. The 400 horsepower hybrid blasts from 0 to 60mph in 4.5 seconds, with 472 pound-feet of torque. In 6-cylinder sports sedan comparisons, it beat other luxury sedans, including the BMW 530e (6.1 seconds) and the Cadillac CT6 Plug-In (5.2 seconds).
In Pure Mode, with the battery fully charged, the S90 T8 can travel between 15 and 21 miles on pure electric power (based on reviewers) at speeds of 78mph. In Hybrid Mode, you let the car’s computer decide how to optimally utilize the powertrain’s elements. Power Mode gives you the most power possible.
Getting electrified isn’t the only S90 T8 modification. USA versions have a 4.5-inch-longer wheelbase and are imported from China, making the car half a foot longer than the Mercedes E-class and BMW 5 series. Test drivers say this stretch – making the car 664 pounds heavier – improves the S90’s ride quality over its previous models and gives it a composure and refinement indicative of a luxury car. One large benefit of the additional length is enough space for 5 passengers and a greatly expanded rear seat, which now offers passengers the ability to very comfortably cross their legs. Adding the $3,450 Luxury package provides the rear seating area with heating and outboard positions ventilation and a large center armrest with more storage.
The S90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid comes in 2 trim lines, Momentum and Inscription. Reviewers of both models compare them high-end luxury vehicles.
Says Car and Driver: “Gorgeous wood, soft brown leather, and a beautifully sculpted dashboard gave our nearly fully loaded Inscription model an interior ambience that easily lived up to its $82,140 as-tested price. That included extras such as a $900 head-up display, a $3200 Bowers & Wilkins sound system, a $1200 pair of air springs in the rear, and a $2550 Convenience package with a power trunklid, a 360-degree camera system, and park assist. A comparably outfitted S90 Inscription T6 AWD would sticker for roughly $10,000 less. No matter how it’s equipped, the S90 is an undeniably special piece, with materials and attention to detail that you won’t find in the luxury market short of paying Bentley or Rolls-Royce money. That was true of last year’s short-wheelbase model, and the new stretched S90 is able to provide plush, relaxed dynamics that better match the elegant atmosphere cultivated within. If the strong performance and overall polish of this hybrid powertrain is any indication, then Volvo likely has little to fear from its electrified future.”
Says Volvo: “Luxury and technology in sync: Scandinavian design, pure luxury and advanced technology. That’s what defines the new Volvo S90. It’s how the long wheelbase and low roofline combine to create a crisply sculpted, elegant exterior. It’s a new panoramic moonroof that lets the light shine in. It’s a serene cabin crafted from exceptional materials such as authentic crystal and Flame Birch Wood Inlay. It’s an additional 4.5 inches of rear seat legroom that gives you extra stretching space. It’s a chassis that delivers precise handling and welcome comfort. It’s more standard safety features than the Audi A6, the BMW 5-Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It’s intuitive technology that’s a seamless extension of you, at your fingertips. It’s the distinctly Volvo features that anchor the S90 to its heritage while connecting it to the future.”
With Volvo considered the car manufacturer that gives you more safety features than any other brand, the S90 hybrid offers:
• BLIS Standard Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), which Volvo pioneered over a decade ago, supports you when you change lanes in busy traffic. It alerts you when a vehicle enters your blind spot or fast approaches from behind. If required, the Steer Assist function will gently steer you back into your lane. The rear-mounted radar sensors continuously monitor your blind spots and a large area behind your car, day or night. It also reacts to almost any type of vehicle, including motorcycles.
• A 360 degree camera: as part of the Convenience Package, a 360 degree Surround View Camera displays a high-resolution bird's eye view of the area surrounding your Volvo – a great help when you reverse or maneuver in confined areas with impaired visibility. The system uses four cameras: two at the door mirrors, one at the front and one at the rear. By touching one of the camera images on the 9-inch Sensus Touchscreen, you can get a view from that specific camera. The rear camera can also be switched to a zoomed-in view close to the car.
• Pilot Assist: Standard Pilot Assist extends semi-autonomous driving to include low-speed traffic jams as well as general highway driving. When semi-autonomous Pilot Assist is activated, acceleration, braking and steering assistance help you follow the traffic flow within your lane to increase safety. It’s especially useful on long highway trips where the road markings are clearly visible. You can activate Pilot Assist by using the buttons on the left side of the steering wheel. Just select your desired speed and time gap. If your hand is not on the steering wheel, Pilot Assist automatically switches off. It is important to note that the driver is always responsible for how the car is controlled as well as for maintaining the correct distance and speed, even when Pilot Assist is being used. Semi-autonomous systems like Pilot Assist are restricted in how much acceleration, braking and steering force they can apply.
Audio and tech in the S90 hybrid include:
• Sensus Navigation which provides intuitive guidance and connects seamlessly with Volvo cloud-based services and navigation apps, conveniently operated using voice or steering.
• Sensus Connect intuitively puts you in touch with the digital world and your Volvo via smart driver interfaces like the steering wheel buttons and voice control. The 9-inch Sensus Touchscreen is an infotainment hub, providing access to a host of convenient in-car apps offering entertainment, navigation, control, connectivity and road service.
• Volvo On Call – now standard with a 4-year complimentary subscription, provides: remote engine start; remote cooling and warming via a smartphone; locking and unlocking with one button touch. You can conveniently keep track of business trips and store them as driving journals. In an emergency, press a button to receive assistance. If an airbag deploys or the safety belt pre-tensioners are activated, the Volvo On Call service center will be alerted automatically – with the emergency crash notification function. Volvo On Call can also alert you to attempted break-ins and allows tracking of your car via satellite. The Volvo On Call app is available for your smartphone, iPad and wearable tech. It can also be used on a Windows 10 PC or tablet.
The front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan comes with a base price of $64,645. The S90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid is eligible for a federal tax credit of $5,002 and a $1,500 Clean Vehicle Rebate in California.
There are currently 4 primary incentives available to the California consumer that substantially lower the cost of buying or leasing an EV. CURRENT provides all the guidance or assistance you may need to apply for these incentives.