Volvo will stretch its reach in two directions with a new-vehicle introduction at the Shanghai International Automobile Show next week – both upward within the luxury ranks and further into the heart of the Chinese luxury market.
The Volvo XC90 'Excellence’ will be the most luxurious Volvo ever built in the company's 88-year. It's not an all-new vehicle but an elegant and refined, ultra-luxe version of its recently launched XC90.
Volvo says it offers customers a distinct and individual automotive experience that incorporates the latest Scandinavian innovations in design, refinement, comfort and style.
“This is our new flagship car,” said Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice-president, design. “We have created the ultimate luxury experience of Scandinavian design. Volvo has never launched a car like this before. This is the car that demonstrates what the name Volvo now means.”
First Class accommodation for four
The XC90 Excellence offers First Class accommodation for four, rather than the base model's seven, creating an enormous amount of additional space for rear-seat passengers – a key factor in the Chinese market where many luxury drivers prefer to be chauffeur driven.
That space is occupied by a pair of broad, spacious individual reclining rear seats complete with massage, ventilation and increased leg room, 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.
Other amenities include passenger footrests, ambient lighting, illuminated storage and unique leather detailing in blond or charcoal, a luggage compartment dividing screen, additional sound insulation in the cabin and Pirelli Noise Cancelling System tires.
Bowers & Wilkins audio
Audio is provided by a specially-augmented Bowers & Wilkins audio system that adds an extra speaker to its 19 speaker system, resulting in exceptional high fidelity sound reproduction and surround effect in the rear seats.
“What we have designed is amongst the best rear seat experiences available in a luxury car,” said Ingenlath. “The result is a superlative environment for relaxed comfort or doing business.”
The XC90 Excellence also offers a leather instrument panel with contrasting thread, and a colour-coordinated textile headliner.
Volvo says the new flagship model will be available globally later this year and – intriguingly – via digital commerce in selected markets.