Volvo unveils the V90 premium estate car
It's not often that the upcoming launch of an estate car or station wagon can be truly described as "eagerly awaited" but, as in the case of the Volvo V90, there is always an exception.
This is for two reasons. The first is that for over half a century, the Swedish car brand with an unwavering commitment to safety has been at the forefront of defining what exactly an estate car should offer in terms of space, comfort and practicality. And the second is that Volvo is at the moment quite literally on a roll in terms of design, cutting-edge technology and building cars that are as desirable as they are safe or practical.
"We have a very strong position in the estate segment," said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars, revealing the car at a special event in Stockholm on Thursday. "In many people's minds we are known as the definitive estate brand."
The new car is based on the recently launched S90 executive sedan and as a result, as well as sharp exterior styling lines, benefits from a raft of active safety systems and semi-autonomous driving technology, including a highway pilot mode that can follow the road automatically, keeping in lane whether or not there is a vehicle in front to act as a guide.
It also gets autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection and a run off road mitigation system as part of one of the most comprehensive next-generation safety packages available on any car currently on sale.
"The modern premium estate is all about the intriguing combination of a luxurious experience with the functional origins of the estate silhouette. The sophisticated ambience of our new Volvo interiors is combined with a great cargo space, providing the right kind of functionality -- whether through connectivity or cargo and storage solutions," said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President for Design at Volvo Cars.
Back in 1993, when it launched the 850 T5 turbocharged estate, Volvo was also one of the first car makers to realize that if a station wagon is endowed with sports performance that it makes a great GT car as well as the perfect vehicle for school runs and business meetings.
And the new V90 picks up the baton. "The T8 Twin Engine petrol plug-in hybrid [model] will deliver around 410hp and a pure electric range of around 31 miles," said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President of Research & Development at Volvo Cars.
Following Thursday's reveal the car will take center stage on Volvo's stand at next month's Geneva Motor Show, which is open to the public March 3-13.