Now You See It, Now You Don’t: The Evolution of the Volvo S90

The Volvo S90 is one of today’s most exclusive luxury sedans. It is beautifully styled with a spacious, elegant interior that provides the ultimate in sophistication. It comfortably seats five adults and is the perfect choice for consumers who want a roomy family-sized sedan but who also like the appointments that come with a midsize luxury sedan. Overall, it’s a beautiful, well-made car that competes nicely in its class.

The Volvo S90 didn’t always fit in with the other kids, though. In fact, the first model looked decidedly different from all the rest. It was initially introduced in the U.S. in 1997 and was only on the market for two years before being discontinued. Nearly 20 years later it was reintroduced and has evolved into the top-selling Volvo sedan you see on showroom floors today.

The Original

One thing that’s obvious about the original Volvo S90 is its looks. Even for 1997, it looked much different than its competitors. Big and boxy with straight lines and conservative styling, this car was Scandinavian-designed at a time when the Scandinavians excelled at furniture design. The S90 looked more like a brick-styled embassy car than a family sedan. (Incidentally, the S90 was employed as an embassy car in many other countries during that time.)

The Volvo S90 came into being as the result of Volvo’s desire to spruce up the old, tired 900-series, specifically the 960 model. Volvo had already attempted to revive the 900-series in 1991 by changing the styling on the 960 and giving it a new engine. But Volvo decided they needed a more luxurious car to suit the American market. As a result, they introduced the Volvo S90 in 1997 with a 2.9-liter inline-six and an impressive array of luxury features that made the car more appealing to an American audience. After only two years on the market, Volvo discontinued the production of the S90, replacing it with the more sleekly styled S80.

Fast Forward Nearly 20 Years

In an interesting turn of events, Volvo brought the S90 back in 2017 to replace the flagship S80. Available in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations, it was already an improvement over the stand rear-wheel drive of 1997. A 2-liter turbo four engine in the base model T5 replaced the in-line six-cylinder of old, and an upgrade to the T6 model brought 2.0-liter super- and turbocharged I-4 engines paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, another improvement over the 1997 four-speed automatic. New technology such as a navigation system, Pilot Assist, and blind spot detection, along with many other features, bring this car up-to-date and in line with what American consumers are looking for in a luxury sedan.

See the Volvo S90’s Quality for Yourself

Today’s Volvo S90 has evolved into a beautifully sleek, luxurious car that needs to be driven to get a full understanding of how far it’s come from the original version. To check out all the features on this luxury sedan for yourself, take it for a test drive. You’ll love the quality in this vehicle, and you’ll only find it in a Volvo.

Categories: S90
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