2021 Volvo S90 Recharge T8: The slowest yet best mid sized luxury sedan on sale in Malaysia?

The S90 marked the arrival of Volvo’s next age in design and technology of Volvo cars. The car had class leading ergonomics, hybrid powertrain, driving aids and of course safety features. These are things that Volvo has dedicated decades to staying ahead of the curve.
With the 2021 Volvo S90 Recharge T8, it takes these innovations further with additional refinement. Here’s what you need to know about them.

Exterior Updates

The biggest tell tale signs are on the outside. The front gets a cleaner front bumper design, with a single chrome trim running across the front bumper, below the license plate. The rims are 10-spoke diamond cut 19 inch.

At the back, the tail lamps receive LED strips in it to bring the design closer to the sporty S60. Gone are the rear tail pipe chrome finishes. Instead you get a clean rear tail lamp finishing with again a single chrome piece running across the bumper.

On the inside

The biggest updates you will find are the unique trim materials and upholstery you get for the Recharge T8. The Grey ash door inlay and Pitched Oak decor inlay gives a very warm feel. The carpets and illuminated door sills now have the words Recharge written on them. Those excellent seats are still trimmed with Nappa leather and come with 4 way powered adjustability.

The 1400 watt, 19 speaker Bowers and Wilkins entertainment system gets new updates. You can choose the staging of the sound around the cabin, and even tailor the acoustics too. The Orrefors Crystal Gear lever is off a different design from the predecessor. There are two USB type C ports in the rear for your smart device charging. Overall, still a very nice place to lounge in.

Under the skin

Under the hood there’s the similar 2.0 Super-Turbo engine which pulls even the 2.1 tonne XC60 SUV with extreme ease, without battery assistance. The lighter and more aerodynamic S90 should be easier. It still puts out a combined 407bhp and 640Nm of torque from as low as 1200rpm.

The battery now is 11.6kWh in size, instead of the 10.4kWh size it previously had. This should be good for an additional 5-10km in range at least. There’s an 8 speed Geartronic transmission for the petrol engine, and the rear sits on air springs for added refinement.

It is, for the first time, limited to 180kph. There’s a whole lot of debate we can have here, but for now, we wholly agree with Volvo’s decision to limit the top speed in the interest of safety.

Should you get one?

Its a car that’s bigger than the current W213 E350 AMG Line, with more power and faster acceleration times. And cheaper by about RM60,000, or 15% from the Mercedes. Only the facelifted BMW 530e puts a tough fight against it, with a similar price range, slightly bigger cabin, and bigger battery.

Volvo stands out for its ergonomics, simplicity, and refinement in the urban environment. We have yet to see how these two plug in hybrids will square off, especially when they drive significantly different. For now though, if you’re in the market for a luxury sedan, the updated Volvo S90 Recharge T8 is worth looking at. Especially since its available at RM339,325 with sales tax exemption.

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