Last week Volvo finally released pictures of the long-awaited S90 sedan, which replaces the long-in-the-tooth S80 model. And, would you know it, it’s a rather good-looking car, at least until you look at the rear, where the desire to be original seems to have gotten the better of the designers’ sense of style. Still, for a car that’s based on an inherently FWD platform the S90 looks really dynamic, with a large “premium gap” between the front wheels and the leading edge of the doors. Add to that a plush interior that manages to look both premium and uniquely non-German, and the promise of a segment-leading “dual engine” plug-in hybrid system, the S90 has potential to succeed where the S80 failed.
How well could the new model do? In its best year, the 1st generation S80 model sold over 40,000 units in Europe and 15,000 units in the US, not bad at all. The 2nd generation did considerably less well, in its best year managing 18,000 and 12,000 units, respectively, before sales shrank to just 3,000 and 1,700 units in 2014.