The range-topping Volvo XC90 Excellence is now available in South Africa. As one of the most luxurious models in Volvo’s 89-year history, the flagship Swedish SUV redefines what is possible in a luxury vehicle and brings out the best in terms of sophistication, opulence and ultimate splendour.
Produced on a separate, specialised line at Volvo Cars’ Torslanda plant in Gothenburg, Sweden, the new XC90 Excellence is available exclusively with Volvo’s T8 Twin Engine powertrain and built on the modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform as a bespoke four-seater, providing absolute luxury to any of the four occupants.
“The XC90 Excellence offers a sublime and luxurious experience. It is our top-of-the-line XC90 offering and we have seen a lot of interest from our more affluent customers across the globe,” says Björn Annwall, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Service at Volvo Cars. “The additional sound insulation, enhanced Bowers & Wilkins sound system and convenience of rear seat controls elevate the XC90 Excellence to a new level of luxurious calm and comfort.”
The ultimate expression of Swedish luxury
All four seats in the XC90 Excellence are up to top-notch Volvo standards of comfort, and each feature heating, ventilation and massage functionality. The bespoke perforated Nappa leather on the seats matches the fine Nappa leather on the doors and dashboard, off-set by genuine open-pore walnut and real aluminium. As with existing XC90 T8 Twin Engine derivatives, the plug-in hybrid XC90 Excellence also features a unique Orrefors crystal gear selector.
Despite being as engaging to drive as any other XC90, the XC90 Excellence places its focus on the two individual rear seats. Offering full electric adjustment, which includes fine-tuning of the side bolsters and an extendable seat cushion, the rear seats are as comfortable and flexible as those up front, to provide ultimate comfort to whomever finds themselves being chauffeured in the XC90 Excellence. Built-in foot rests on the floor also elevate comfort levels, and convenience is augmented by two additional storage pockets and an arm rest glove box.
Extra entertainment is taken care of by standard-fitment tablet holders on the front seatbacks, and twin folding tray tables which feature gloriously intricate design elements, to enable work to be carried out while on the move. A 230V power outlet is also available for charging laptops and similar devices while on the move, augmented by two USB ports.
Cup holders are heated and cooled, and a refrigerator is located between the two rear seats. Volvo’s partnership with the famous Swedish glassmaker, Orrefors, continues beyond just the gear lever in the XC90 Excellence – two exquisite hand-made Orrefors crystal champagne flutes are included which feature a unique stem design, matched by distinctive, specialised cup holders in the centre console and on each tray table when extended.
Another unique aspect in the XC90 Excellence is the rear seat control panel, which is hidden neatly in the rear console. Accessible by either of the rear passengers, the extendable panel enables touch-based control of seat adjustment, heating and cooling, and massage functions.
A glass partition separates the luggage area from the passenger compartment in the XC90 Excellence, which enhances soundproofing but maintains the sense of space. With the removal of the third row of seats, luggage capacity in the XC90 Excellence varies from 431 litres (with luggage cover extended) to 726 litres (loaded to roof height).
T8 Twin Engine powertrain
The XC90 Excellence is also perfectly matched to its smooth, quiet and technologically-advanced T8 Twin Engine drivetrain. Up front, a 235 kW/ 400 Nm supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylider Drive-E petrol engine powers the front wheels, via an 8-speed Geartronic transmission. At the rear, the Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) system, which is fed by a 9.2 kWh battery pack, sees a 65 kW/ 240 Nm electric motor powering the rear wheels – enabling all-wheel drive when necessary. Total output is 300 kW and 640 Nm, and the vehicle is able to switch seamlessly between either engine depending on requirements and driver input.
As with other T8 Twin Engine XC90 derivatives, three main drive modes are available in the XC90 Excellence: Pure, Hybrid and Power. When running on electric power alone in Pure or Hybrid modes, the XC90 Excellence is a particularly quiet and relaxing sanctuary. Extra sound insulation ensures that, even when the combustion engine turns on in Hybrid or Power modes, noise levels remain impressively low.
Driving dynamics are enhanced by the standard fitment of four-corner air suspension, which maximises comfort while also maintaining dynamic stability regardless of the chosen drive mode.
First-class equipment; incredible value
As one would expect with a luxury four-seat SUV of this nature, the XC90 Excellence features top-level specification with all available extras fitted as standard – the only available options are on exterior paint colour (10 colours are available) and interior leather colour – a choice of Blond in Charcoal or Charcoal in Charcoal.
Standard equipment highlights include the following:
- Full-LED headlights with Active Bending and Active High Beam
- Thor’s Hammer LED daytime running lights and light signature
- 21-inch alloy wheels
- Extended chrome window trim
- 4-corner air suspension
- Orrefors crystal gear selector
- Nappa leather upholstery, steering wheel, door uppers and dashboard
- Heated, ventilated and massaging seats (all four)
- Linear Walnut open-pore décor inlays
- 4-zone automatic climate control including rear-seat controls and cooled glove box
- CleanZone air quality system
- Drive Mode selector
- Heated steering wheel
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- 9-inch Sensus Connect touch screen infotainment interface
- Head-Up Display
- Satellite navigation with free map updates for life
- Smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto)
- Orrefors crystal champagne flutes
- 230V power outlet
- Folding tray tables
- Removable tablet integration on front seatbacks
- Automated load cover
- Rear window sun blinds
- Privacy glass
- Panoramic sunroof
- Auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors
- Compass in rear-view mirror
- Bowers & Wilkins premium audio with 20 speakers
- Radio, USB, DVD and Bluetooth audio compatibility
- Voice control
- Internet connectivity
- Keyless entry and start with powered, hands-free tailgate
- Heated windscreen washers
- Automatic wipers
Standard safety equipment and driver aids:
- ABS, EBD, BAS, HSA
- Hill Descent Control
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Pilot Assist for semi-autonomous driving up to 130 km/h
- 360-degree HD camera
- Park Assist Pilot including all-round parking sensors and Park Out function
- City Safety autonomous emergency braking
- Pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection
- Road Sign Information
- Run-off-road Mitigation and Protection with impact-absorbing seats
- Autobrake at intersections
- Lane Keeping Aid
- Blind spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA)
- Seven airbags
- Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS)
- Laminated glass
- ISOFIX child seat anchor points
Including a 5-year/ 100 000 km full vehicle warranty and full maintenance plan, the new Volvo XC90 Excellence retails for an exceptional R1 550 000, and is exclusively available on an order-only basis.
Watch detailed XC90 T5 review below: