Volvo's 90 series of large, luxury vehicles grows by one today with the official announcement of the 2017 V90 premium wagon.
The V90 joins the XC90 SUV -- winner of the Roadshow Shift Awards Vehicle of the Year -- and the recently announced S90 sedan at the top of Volvo's new lineup and at the forefront of the Swedish automaker's push into the European luxury vehicle segment.
The wagon is underpinned by the same Volvo Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform as the rest of the 90 series and, like its platform-mates, will be offered with the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain. In this configuration, Volvo tells us to expect 410 total system horsepower and around 31 miles of pure electric range driving range from a full charge.
That means the V90 T8 should be slightly more powerful than the 400 horsepower 2016 XC90 T8 that we've previously tested, with nearly double the electric range. It's also safe to assume that the wagon will also boast better hybrid efficiency beyond the battery's range, but official mpg estimates are yet to be announced.
Volvo's announcement also makes mention of a PowerPulse diesel option for the V90, presumably the D5 turbodiesel powertrain that will be offered in the European and Australian XC90 and S90. The novel PowerPulse setup stores compressed air in a reservoir and delivers timed pulses of air into the exhaust stream to help eliminate turbo lag.
A safe bet would also place the a non-hybrid T6 gasoline powertrain in the list of available options when the V90 launches.
Expect the Swedes to continue to push semi-autonomous driving technology with the V90 by offering Volvo's Pilot Assist system. Pilot Assist is able to automatically steer to maintain its position between clearly visible lane markings, brake to maintain a safe following distance if a vehicle is detected ahead and accelerate to maintain a set cruising speed of up to 80 mph. Think of it like autopilot for the highway. The S90 sedan will be the first vehicle to make this semi-autonomous driving tech a standard feature; it's safe to assume that the V90 wagon will follow suit.
In addition to Pilot Assist, the V90 will feature new large-animal detection and run-off road mitigation features under the hood, and the same Sensus connected infotainment cluster with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration in its well-appointed dashboard.
Wagons -- or estates, as this class of car is known outside the US -- have historically been Volvo's forte. "We have a very strong position in the estate segment," said Hakan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars. "In many people's minds we are known as the definitive estate brand. While the Volvo brand today stands for more than estates, we are proud to carry forward this rich heritage with the V90."
We expect to get our first look at the 2017 Volvo V90 in the sheet metal at the 2016 Geneva Auto Show in March, and for the estate to hit the road in Europe later this year. Sources tell us that we can expect a global launch -- including North America -- to follow in 2017. Wagon fans, rejoice.