By: IOL Motoring Staff
Pretoria - Volvo SA has detailed its model lineup and pricing for the upcoming S90 executive sedan, which will be released in South Africa from late 2016.
The range will eventually comprise 12 derivatives covering four engines and three trim levels - Momentum, Inscription and R-Design - with prices ranging from R675 200 to R871 900.
The engines (two petrol and two diesel) are all two-litre fours, pressure-fed by a variety of super, turbo and electrical charging. They start with the D4 turbodiesel, rated for 140kW and 400Nm, and the D5, good for 173kW and 480Nm, its turbo supplemented by an electric compressor that stores squashed air in a two-litre tank and uses it to spool up the turbo when you ask for acceleration from low revs, obviating turbo lag.
The T5 turbopetrol delivers a quoted 187kW and 350Nm, but has to give pride of place to the turbo-and-supercharged T6, rated at 235kW and 400Nm, thanks to a supercharger that works in tandem with the turbo up to 3500rpm and then takes a back seat to reduce power losses at high revs.
In each case - whether driven by the front wheels or all four - power transfer is modulated by an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Almost drives itself
The S90 comes very close to an autonomous mode with an uprated version of Volvo's Pilot Assist, combining active cruise control with lane-keeping assist to the point where - on a good road with clear lane markings - the car will drive itself, although Volvo insists that you keep your hands on the wheel and you mind on your driving all the time, because the system still has its limits.
More standard kit includes large animal detection and run-off-road mitigation, which prepares the car (and its occupants!) for the inevitable sudden stop should you run off the road, while the options list starts with rear-axle air suspension and includes an 18-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system as well as a range of rims from 18 to 21 inches in diameter.
First to arrive in South Africa will be the D5 and T6 AWD models in either Momentum or Inscription trim, with D4 and T5 front-wheel drive variants following in 2017, as well as sporty R-Design versions with all four drive-trains. We've also been promised the 300kW T8 plug-in hybrid version further down the line, but there's no price or timing on that one yet.
D4 Momentum - R698 500
D4 Inscription - R742 000
D4 R-Design - R727 500
D5 Momentum - R777 700
D5 AWD Inscription - R821 200
D5 AWD R-Design - R806 700
T5 Momentum - R675 200
T5 Inscription - R718 700
T5 R-Design - R704 200
T6 AWD Momentum - R828 400
T6 AWD Inscription - R871 900
T6 AWD R-Design - R857 400
To put those numbers in perspective, the comparable Audi A6 variants range in price from R662 000 to R822 500, the BMW 5 Series contenders from R654 186 to R906 086 and the similar-spec Mercedes-Benz E-Class models from R709 608 to R961 036. It must also be noted that the aforementioned German sedans have less powerful base engines, ranging from 135kW to 140kW, versus the base Volvo's 187kW.
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