The long-wheelbase Volvo saloon isn’t available in the UK, but we had a go in one anyway to see what we’re missing out on
Volvo managed a great deal of media mileage out of its electrification of the future model line-up announcement but, in China, the longest-ever Volvo doesn’t even get Start/Stop technology to help reduce fuel consumption. The Chinese-built S90 long wheelbase (LWB) adds 12cm to both the wheelbase and overall length of the standard S90.In the early days of Chinese ownership of the marque, there was tension between the Chinese and Swedish sides. Owners Geely Holdings wanted to concentrate on larger, more luxurious cars to compete against the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6 in China, whereas the Swedes wanted to concentrate on smaller, more mass-market models. As the S90 LWB shows, despite the ‘Thor’s hammer’ running lights and the small Swedish flag on the front passenger seat, the Chinese side won. And it is no bad thing.Chinese-produced versions of the 5 Series, A6 and E-Class, and now even the Jaguar XF, all get the long wheelbase treatment. In this sector, it is common for owners to be chauffeured. Moreover, these cars do not tend to be used as family vehicles, therefore rear passengers are mostly adults. As such, the S90 LWB fits right in, with all the extra space going to the back occupants. The S90 LWB isn’t coming to the UK or even Europe. But, as a China and US-only affair, it will fit in with the growing crowd of stretched saloons.