There’s a new adjective Swedish carmaker Volvo wants to attach to its vehicles aside from “safe,” and that is “elegant.” This was evident at the launch of the brand’s 90 Series models held last week at Shangri-La at the Fort: the S90 sedan and the XC90 SUV.
Hosted by musical theater actor Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, the event featured a “feast for the senses,” a five-course dinner meant to celebrate the flavors of Sweden. The party also showcased the talents of such artists as Nicole Asensio, Kettle Mata, Daryl Ong, Opus One, Manila String Machine and Triple Fret. The evening was aptly billed as “Volvo’s Magnum Opus.”
“Tonight, we launch the XC90 and the S90, each a masterpiece, where every little detail is there for a reason,” said Volvo Philippines president Atty. Albert Arcilla. “Where everything we know about technology, design and safety are brought together to take your journey to the next level.”
The second-generation XC90 had been teased by Volvo Philippines in Powerplant Mall last year on the occasion of the company’s 21st anniversary (it introduced the 850 sedan back in 1994). Apparently, it has already received over 118 awards since its global launch in late 2014.
The premium seven-seat SUV is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel engine that produces 225hp and 470Nm. But the press statement also mentions that the Drive-E powertrains have “petrol and diesel options,” and that a T8 Twin Engine gasoline plug-in hybrid is available.
Volvo touts the XC90 as “a delight to the senses with an overall package that spells out the ultimate in Swedish luxury.” A selling point inside the vehicle is the easy-to-use infotainment interface, which has reduced the number of control buttons from 42 to just eight.
The XC90 also bears the confident countenance of Volvo’s new design language, together with classic Volvo styling cues. Key features include the “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlight design, the new grille with the Volvo Iron Mark, and the expressive use of the Volvo word mark at the rear.
The S90, meanwhile, is an entirely all-new executive sedan from Volvo. It is built on Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture, an advanced modular product platform that will underpin new Volvo models in the 90 and 60 Series.
Inside, the S90 taken inspiration from its XC90 sibling, and raises the bar with new details on the dashboard and the instrument panel, including new air blades that stand vertically on each side of the Sensus user interface.
Of course, this being a pair of Volvos, the chief selling point is still safety. The City Safety Technology, standard on all Volvo models now, combines automatic braking functionality and collision avoidance systems to cover a range of potential accident scenarios and help keep passengers and other motorists safe.
The City Safety’s functionality is further extended in the 90 Series with Intersection Traffic Detection and Large Animal Detection, designed to help avoid or mitigate collisions with, er, large animals. An auto-steer functionality also helps to keep the car on the road even when its driver becomes dangerouosly drowsy.
Another selling point is the 90 Series models’ semi-autonomous nature. Volvo’s IntelliSafe technology encompasses both active and passive safety systems and forms the groundwork for near-autonomous driving. The XC90 and the S90 already offer semi-autonomous drive with Pilot Assist, which works up to 130km/h on clearly marked roads. Pilot Assist is another step toward Volvo’s Vision 2020, which states that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by the year 2020.
Want to meet these motoring magna opera? Check them out at a Volvo showroom.