The most luxurious Volvo ever built comes with crystal Champagne glasses
"This is our new flagship car," Volvo senior vice president of design Thomas Ingenlath said. "We have created the ultimate experience of Scandinavian luxury."
Although you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the Excellence and its less excellent siblings from the outside, the interior is where the upscale SUV aspirations become apparent.
At the heart of this newfound poshness is the XC90's private jet-style rear cabin, which the automaker describes as a "Scandinavian sanctuary."
So what does such a sanctuary entail?
How about ambient lighting to set the mood, a retractable control touchscreen, folding tray tables, a refrigerator with bottle and glass holders, a heated and chilled cup holder and to top it all off, handmade crystal glasses by Orrefors.
That's in addition to the ventilated and massaging captains chairs that have replaced the standard XC90's more utilitarian bench-style seats.
"What we have designed is amongst the best rear seat experience available in a luxury car," Mr. Ingenlath said.
In fact, the whole car is designed to effortlessly glide down the road. Heck, the SUV even has Pirelli noise-canceling tires!
So why is Volvo going to such trouble to build a more aristocratic Swedish SUV when it's supposed to be a company built on safety, technology, and utilitarianism?
According to Mr. Ingenlath, the luxurious flourishes create a "superlative environment for relaxed comfort or doing business."
Since Volvo is the crown jewel of China's Geely Automotive, the XC90 gives the company a massive opportunity to penetrate the the Chinese luxury SUV market that has thus far been dominated by German and Japanese rivals.
Chinese consumers don't have the same memories that Western customers have of Volvo as a seller of boxy station wagons - an unpretentious, understated anti-luxury brand. As a result, an uber-luxury model, such as the Excellence, only reinforces Volvo's stature in China as an upscale option.
Volvo hasn't yet announced the engine choices for the Excellence, which is expected to hit the global market later this year.
But photos of the show car indicate that it's a T8, which is powered by a 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine that's paired with an electric motor hybrid drive system to produce 400 horsepower.
There's also no word how big a dent the XC90 Excellence will make in your wallet. Although the base XC90 starts at just under $49,000 in the US.
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