GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- Volvo, which is best known for SUVs and station wagons, takes aim at the premium large sedan segment with its new S90.
The Swedish brand released pictures and details of its new flagship sedan at a press event here on Wednesday.
"With the launch of the XC90 we made a clear statement of intent. We are now clearly and firmly in the game," Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said in a press statement. "With $11 billion of investment over the past five years we have not only reimagined what Volvo Cars can be – we are now delivering on our promise of a resurgent and relevant Volvo Cars brand."
The S90 will "open up a segment for us where we haven’t been strongly represented. You need the sedan to be serious in the premium market," Samuelsson told reporters.
The S90 will compete against cars such as the BMW 5 series and Mercedes-Benz E class.
Samuelsson said 2016 would be a ramp-up year with about 15,000 S90 sedans produced. "We will have around 50,000 when we have full production of the car," he said.
That will still lag far behind BMW’s 5 series, whose deliveries are predicted to continue well in excess of 300,000 cars in coming years. Samuelsson said Volvo’s ambition is to capture about a 5 percent share of the global premium-sedan market.
The S90 is loaded with high-end equipment. Volvo says the S90's City Safety collision avoidance system has been upgraded to offer a world-first function: large animal detection. The feature can recognize an elk or moose, day or night, and provide brake support to avoid a crash.
The sedan also offers semi-autonomous driving technology that gives steering assistance to keep the car in its lane at speeds up to 130kph (81 mph) even if there is no car in front.
The S90 will also be offered with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, along with gasoline and diesel versions.
The S90 replaces the slow-selling S80 as Volvo’s flagship sedan and it will have a public debut at the Detroit auto show in January.