The Swedish automaker Volvo – now owned by Chinese conglomerate Geely Holding – has indicated all its new car models launched after 2019 will be electrics 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. Current EV applauds the company’s insight and determination!
The company’s ambitious plan calls for 5 new fully electric cars to be introduced by 2021, each of them with hybrid variations. Some will be Polestars, Volvo’s new high-performance brand.
The Volvo S90 was an all-new model for 2017, built in Sweden; the first Volvo put in production by its new Chinese owner. In 2018, production was moved to China and the S90 added a plug-in hybrid version with a T8, supercharged and turbocharged engine. The hybrid setup uses two electric motors to create power and fuel efficiency. This same gas engine/electric motor system is present in Volvo’s XC60 and XC90 crossover vehicles. And 8-speed automatic gearbox provides torque to the front wheels, working with a 10.4kWh Lithium-ion battery pack which powers the electric motor positioned on the rear axle. The second e-motor is integrated with the transaxle and helps start up the engine.
When the 2018 version was built in China, it gained 4.5 extra inches in length. In China, people who own luxury cars such as the S90 have chauffeurs to drive them. The extra legroom went to the backseat. The S90 now has more legroom than all rivals, including its targets, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series. Other carmakers have available extended-wheelbase models, but the S90 comes standard with the extra length.
Concerning the 2019 model’s roominess, Edmunds reviewers say: “Volvo fully embraced its heritage when creating the S90. At the vanguard of elegant Scandinavian design, this luxury sedan is roundly attractive inside and out. Its sheet metal is crisp, and its cabin materials are first-rate. The 2019 Volvo S90 boasts a long list of luxury appointments and driver assistance features. Roominess is another virtue of the S90. While it's priced like competitors' midsize luxury sedans such as the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series, the S90 is as long as sedans one class higher. This length gives the S90 a lot more rear legroom and a bit more front legroom than the midsize competition.”
Test drivers say the 4.5 inch stretch makes the car heavier but improves its ride quality over its previous models and gives it a composure and refinement indicative of a luxury car. Another benefit of the additional length is enough space for 5 passengers. In the rear seat, they can comfortably cross their legs. Adding a Luxury package provides the rear seating area with heating and outboard positions ventilation and a large center armrest with more storage.
The 2019 S90 Hybrid’s length is 200.1 inches and its width is 74.6 inches. It comes in two trims: T8 eAWD Plug-in Hybrid Momentum $63,650 MSRP), and T8 eAWD Plug-in Hybrid Inscription ($68,150 MSRP).
Both trims have an EPA All Electric Range of 21 miles and a Total Range of 490 miles. MPGe is 71 Combined City/Highway and MPG is 29 Combined City Highway.
Despite its added weight, the car is super quick. Says cnet.com/roadshow reviewer Manuel Carrillo III: “The S90 T8 plug-in hybrid is talented at jolting you back into your seat. With 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque, the nearly 4,600-pound sedan can scoot to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds. On its own, the turbocharged and supercharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine is great at delivering off-the-line torque, but is a little more lively thanks to the 87-horsepower electric motor mounted at the rear axle. All that instant, electric power is especially useful if you need to dart ahead of traffic to make a lane change after the signal turns green.”
Along with their awesome display of power, the S90 Momentum and Inscription provide top tier luxury car comfort and ambiance. They’ve been described as “Sultry Swedes oozing curb appeal.”
Concerning Momentum, Volvo says: “A laminated panoramic moonroof provides a superb experience of air and light. Laminated glass windows offer a high level of safety and provide soundproofing for a quiet, peaceful drive. Our Comfort Seats with standard leather upholstery give you the support you need on all your journeys. Our driver assistance technologies such as Adaptive Cruise Control and Pilot Assist keep you and your guests safe. The Drive-E engine delivers power with excellent fuel economy. The user-friendly 12.3-inch Digital Driver Display puts you in control. And the LED Headlights with Thor’s Hammer daytime running lights and auto high beam give the S90 a commanding road presence and excellent vision.”
Momentum’s standard features include: 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and ignition, selectable drive modes, simulated-leather upholstery, wood interior trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated power-adjustable front seats, driver-seat memory functions, and power-folding rear headrests.
Momentum’s tech & entertainment features include: Volvo On Call remote features, a virtual instrument panel, a 9-inch touchscreen with Volvo's Sensus infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a navigation system, and a 10-speaker audio system with satellite radio.
“Momentum’s safety features include: forward collision warning and mitigation, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, oncoming lane mitigation, a drowsy driver warning system, and a traffic sign reader.
Concerning Inscription, Volvo says: “From every angle, the highly sophisticated S90 Inscription expresses contemporary Scandinavian luxury. Each fine detail is selected to provide you and your passengers with a sense of space and freedom. Distinguished exterior design cues enhance the refined look of the Inscription, while the meticulously designed interior creates a spa-like atmosphere with lots of room to stretch. With genuine materials and fine craftsmanship wherever you look, the S90 Inscription is in a class of its own.”
Inscription adds (or substitutes) these features: 19-inch wheels, a Harman/Kardon premium audio, a four-zone automatic climate control, a cooled glovebox, interior ambient lighting, an upgraded wood interior trim, leather upholstery, leather coverings on the dash and door panels, ventilated front seats, power-adjustable front-seat side bolsters and thigh extensions, and power sunshades for rear windows.
An optional Advanced package provides parking assist, a surround-view camera system, upgraded headlights and a head-up display. For the Inscription only, Volvo offers the Luxury package, which includes massaging front seats, heated and ventilated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and upgraded materials for the headliner and sun visors.
Reviewer Manuel Carrillo III sums up his impression: “The S90 is striking. Its simple design is anchored by the ‘Thor's Hammer’ LED headlamp accents that make a great first impression as you approach the front of the vehicle. But no matter the angle, Volvo's midsize luxury sedan carries an imposing but approachable presence. Dimensionally, it's long, low and wide, with design features that amplify its confident stance and proportions.”
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. A Current EV representative can explain how you can qualify for these incentives.
Rewritten August 2019
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.