Here is it is, the replacement for the S80. It almost didn’t happen but Volvo reconsidered and now there is a meaningful alternative to BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes.
You’ll notice that the profile is markedly more elongated than the previous cars which themselves were not exactly slight cars. The bonnet has an almost horizontal angle and the surfacing is rather massive. It is out of the same mould as the XC90 meaning it’s going to look very imposing on the road and in the metal.
Autocar reported this: “Our idea was to
bring something entirely new to this rather conservative segment and deliver a visual expression that exudes leadership and confidence on the exterior,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Car Group. “On the inside, we have taken the S90 to the next level, delivering a high-end luxury experience that promises comfort and control.” Volvo’s UK managing director is quoted by the same source as saying “We have our own values around exterior and interior design, safety, comfort and powertrain advancements that stand out for their own qualities.” They are not trying to aim to beat the Germans at their own game and will be happy if 2000 units find customers annually in the UK. For anyone a little dispirited by the monotony of the large car market, this is a cheering entrant to the fray.
I will reserve judgement about the car’s appearance for a while but my first impressions of the exterior are favourable. It is striking without any unnecessary fussy detailing. I wonder a bit about the C-pillar though. It’s a habit of mine at the moment. The lamps look distinctive without being contrived and the grille says in Swedish please get out of my way, thanks. The interior looks pleasant though it lacks much of the character the previous cars has. It’s a shade generic despite the lavish wood and leather treatment. The question is, will it have enough legroom? The last car didn’t provide enough visual space despite its large size. The original S80 was superior on that score and even today still looks like a very habitable vehicle.