With the launch of its all-new XC90, Volvo is hoping to convince new car buyers that it can build an SUV that’s just as dynamic, high-tech and luxurious as the Germans, albeit it with a Scandinavian twist. To really send the message home, the automaker at next week’s 2015 Shanghai Auto Show will present this new range-topping variant, the XC90 Excellence.
It’s described as the most luxurious vehicle Volvo has ever built, and that certainly looks to be the case flipping through these official photos. The wheelbase of the XC90 remains the same but the standard seven-seat arrangement has been modified, with the five seats behind the front pair swapped out for two vey plush executive seats and some added legroom.
“This is our new flagship car,” Volvo design chief Thomas Ingenlath said of the vehicle. “We have created the ultimate luxury experience of Scandinavian design—this is the car that demonstrates what the name Volvo now means.”
The broad rear seats can recline and offer massage and ventilation functions, as well as a retractable control touchscreen, folding tables, a refrigerator with bottle and glass holders, a heating/cooling cup holder, and handmade crystal glasses from leading Swedish glass design company Orrefors. The same company also makes the XC90’s gear shifter.
2016 Volvo XC90 ExcellenceEnlarge Photo
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Other premium features include passenger footrests, ambient lighting, illuminated storage, stitched leather detailing, additional sound insulation in the cabin and a Pirelli Noise Cancelling System so that outside sounds don’t detract from the 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system. Finally, the XC90 Excellence also comes with an integrated ionic air cleaner.
Naturally, the XC90 Excellence is equipped with the most advanced and powerful powertrain option available on the XC90, the T8. This means a peak output of 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque, delivered by a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor in a plug-in hybrid setup. The engine powers the front wheels while the electric motor powers the rear pair, creating a ‘through-the-road’ hybrid all-wheel-drive system.
At present, the most expensive XC90 is the 316-hp XC90 T6 Inscription, which will set you back $55,495 with shipping (full pricing info here). A more expensive XC90 T8 Inscription will be offered at a later date, and possibly this range-topping XC90 Excellence will arrive as well. Volvo says the XC90 Excellence will be available globally but is yet to confirm the SUV for the U.S. market. We should know more following its debut at the Shanghai Auto Show on April 20. To see what else will be at the Chinese show, head to our dedicated hub.