The Volvo S90 T8 – an understated facade hides immense technological prowess

bold, but not brash

The Scandinavians are known for their understated approach in life, upholding humbleness and never flaunting personal success. This self-philosophy comes from the Law of Jante (or Jantelagen) — a principle inscribed with the 10 rules of oneness, equality and unity.

Uniquely, this doctrine is infused in their cars as well, and the Volvo S90 T8 Inscription (RM368,888) backs that notion perfectly. Though bold, it isn’t brash. Though stunning, it isn’t a braggart. Though sophisticatedly engineered, it isn’t an egotist in execution.

The S90’s stately exterior feature lines and creases are inspired by Sweden’s greatest treasure — its picturesque landscapes. In front, its concave grille pays design homage to the Volvo P1800 coupe, the car that’s driven by the late Sir Roger Moore in The Saint. Its headlamps are equipped with a pair of DRLs bearing the shape of Thor’s hammer, the revered god of thunder in Norse mythology.

Inside, beauty further extends onto its sleek dashboard design constructed with a combination of the finest materials. While its use of open pore wood trims and diamond-cut knurled switches will leave artisans in awe, drivers can even relish in a similar fashion by shifting the hand-crafted Orrefors gearknob into drive to experience its refined 2.0-litre twin-charged mill delivering 320bhp and 400Nm.

However, it’s not just 320bhp and 400Nm waiting to be unleashed. A 10.4kWh battery pack and a 87bhp and 240Nm electric motor intertwines its existing powertrain to produce a combined 407bhp with 640Nm, getting the S90 T8 off a standstill to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds. To experience this performance, select ‘Power’ as the mode of conduct to devour the competition. Yes, it’s the fastest in its class.

The S90 T8 is best experienced in Hybrid mode to return superlative efficiency within city limits. For those seeking a more tailored drive, the Individual mode serves as a function that enables drivers to preset their desired setting before starting a trip.

Pure mode, on the other hand, mobilises it for an emissions-free 50km sojourn without using a drop of petrol. As it cruises in near noiseless levels, it’s also the best time to make full use of its 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system.

Even by sticking to the design roots of Swedish minimalism, one can’t simply deny that Volvo’s S90 T8 is a beautiful, refined and well-appointed mid-sized executive. It’s a stunning segment alternative poised to win the hearts of many.


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