There’s a reason Uber has chosen Volvo for their plans of having driverless pickup vehicles; Volvo is already honing in on that level of technology. Although Tesla has already disrupted the auto industry with its fully electric, self-driving cars, Volvo is a quiet contender in the luxury vehicle sector. Their S90 may be a more affordable option to Tesla’s Model S. If you haven’t checked lately, Volvos are no longer box shaped and driven only by the stereotypical “professorial” types. They are still one of the safest car brands on the road, and the 2016 models are equipped with the newest technology that assists in everything from staying within the yellow road lines, to “reading” the speed limit, to detecting pedestrians and large animals even in the dark. Volvo is leading the way in understanding the modern driver. By 2020, Volvo hopes to be producing vehicles that will avoid anyone getting killed or majorly injured when in an accident.
The 2016 S90 is a large luxury sedan, essentially replacing the S80, but is slightly bigger and redesigned. This car has more features than any one person could ever find a use for, but you’ll find that the well-designed interior and Apple carplay infotainment screen are only the tip of the iceberg. Volvo’s motto is “Designed around you,” and is perhaps more utilitarian than some of the other luxury brands. Many of the features you’ll find are to ensure undistracted driving. The position of the touchscreen is made so that the driver has easy access to it, in addition to responding to voice commands like, “I’m cold” or “I’m hot,” to automatically raise or lower the interior temperature.
Volvo’s commitment to the environment means that you won’t find an 8-cylinder, or even 6-cylinder engine, in any of their 2016 scalable product architecture (SPA) platform models. Even their biggest vehicle, the XC 90, has a 4-cylinder engine. But the quick pickup powered by a 2 liter, 316 horsepower (option) engine indicates that Volvo hasn’t taken away any of its dynamic capability.
Volvos are made in Sweden, and the impeccable European quality is something you won’t find in many cars today. Of course, the cost of shipping vehicles overseas is expensive, and perhaps why they aren’t bigger players in the US auto market. This is partly the reason why Volvo broke ground on a South Carolina factory last year. In the next few years, you may see as many Volvos on the road as BMWs or Fords.
Many thanks to Lyle Pearson Volvo and their knowledgeable staff for offering their time and expertise.