New Excellence model to top Volvo XC90 range

The executive limo has a new contender in the form of this four-seat, hybrid XC90 - packed with Swedish luxury

The latest Volvo XC90 is already the most luxurious car Volvo produces – and it’s one of our favourite cars here at Auto Express. But the Swedish company, never one to rest on its laurels, has created an ultra-luxury version, which it’s calling the XC90 Excellence.

Being based on the XC90 is a strong start for any luxury car, but the Excellence model takes things to a new level. The first thing Volvo engineers did was rip out some seats – taking this seven-seat family SUV and turning it into business class four-seater.

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The rear bench has been scrapped in favour of two individual seats – able to recline, heat, cool, and massage their occupants. This is in line with many competitors like the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes S-Class and even the long-wheelbase Range Rover.

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In between the seats is a fridge, two folding tables and heated or cooled cup-holders – coffee and champagne can both be enjoyed at their perfect temperature in this car. Every surface in sight is either covered in polished wood or perforated leather, too, while the Excellence comes complete with a set of crystal glasses from Swedish glass maker Orrefors.

And, of course, entertainment isn’t forgotten, with screens in the centre armrest and in both rear headrests. These go along with additional sound insulation and an enhanced Bowers & Wilkins sound system, for optimum movie-viewing in the back seats. Because that’s what CEOs do in the back of their luxury limos, right?

The serene silence won’t be broken by any diesel rumble, either, as this Excellence model is based on the range-topping T8 hybrid powertrain. This combines a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor for extra oomph as well as silent, electric-only running at lower speeds. It also qualifies the lucky owner for zero road tax and exemption from the London Congestion Charge – at least until the tax system changes next year.

The XC90 Excellence is available exclusively online for the moment, cementing Volvo’s commitment to adjusting its sales strategies to new customer trends. "Regardless of where they order their cars, the aim remains to offer Volvo buyers the best customer experience possible together with our dealers," said Bjorn Annwall, senior vice president of marketing, sales and service at Volvo.

Would you buy this over a more traditional luxury limousine? Let us know in the comments below...

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