New theme option adds lights to the S90’s ceiling

Purchased by Geely in 2010, Volvo has made a tremendous comeback to the premium market with the latest-generation XC90, the brand-new S90 sedan, and other smaller vehicles. The company’s previous competitor for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series was far from competitive, but the S90 that Volvo launched under Chinese ownership is surprisingly good. Now, the Swedish brand plans to move the S90 even higher on the luxury market with a range of new features. These were introduced at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show in the S90 Ambiance concept.

The concept vehicle is basically a standard sedan in Excellence trim, so it's easy to ignore it on the showroom floor

Despite the concept badge, there’s nothing futuristic about the S90 Ambiance on the outside. The concept vehicle is basically a standard sedan in Excellence trim, so it’s easy to ignore it on the showroom floor. The same goes for the cabin, which features the same interior as the S90 Excellence. This is by no means usual though, as it has a three-seat layout. The Excellence model focuses on chauffeured passengers in the rear seat rather than the driving enthusiasts, and this is why the front passenger side was removed.

The Ambiance concept builds on this idea with seven visual themes synchronized with audio and scent. The themes can be activated using a smartphone app and are projected on the car’s ceiling, just like in the Rolls-Royce Phantom. However, while the Phantom only has constellation themes, Volvo offers Northern Lights, Scandinavian Forest, Swan Lake, Archipelago, and Rain. A Nocturnal theme for resting and a Freedom theme for a "boost of fresh and uplifting energy" are also included.

Does the Volvo S90 Ambiance Concept Hint at a Future Where Volvo Takes on Bentley and Rolls-Royce? Interior
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Each theme starts with a synchronized audio soundtrack that plays through the premium Bower and Wilkins sound system

Each theme starts with a synchronized audio soundtrack that plays through the premium Bower and Wilkins sound system. The audio system includes small tweeters in the headrests. Each theme is also matched with one of four scents that deploy from the center console. The scents are created by Byredo, a luxury house from Stockholm, Sweden.

While just a concept for now, the Ambiance will become available in S90 Excellence production cars in the future, according to Volvo. Needless to say, this feature doesn’t move the S90 into Rolls-Royce and Bentley territory, but maybe Volvo has bigger plans in future.

References

2017 Volvo S90 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volvo S90.

2017 Volvo S90 Excellence High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo S90 Excellence.

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Read more Volvo news.

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Read more 2018 Beijing Auto Show news.

Press Release

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, today reveals the S90 Ambience Concept, an industry-first sensory experience that synchronises visuals, sound and scent to redefine in-car luxury.

The S90 Ambience Concept, making its public debut at the Beijing Auto Show in China, is based on Volvo’s top-of-the-line S90 Excellence three-seater executive sedan and focuses on chauffeured passengers in the rear seat.

The passengers can personalise the car’s atmosphere by using the intuitive smartphone app to choose one of seven visual themes synchronised with audio and scent.

“The Ambience Concept redefines luxury by taking it beyond material choices, creating a car that connects with your senses,” said Robin Page, head of design at Volvo Cars. “The design explores how people feel inside the car and enables them to influence their own mood and well-being.”

The visual element transforms the car ceiling according to the selected theme – including Northern Lights, Scandinavian Forest, Swan Lake, Archipelago and Rain – each providing a different mood scaling from relaxing to invigorating. There is also a Nocturnal theme for resting and Freedom gives a boost of fresh and uplifting energy.

The synchronised audio plays through the car’s Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system, which includes small tweeters in the headrest for an immersive sound experience. Each theme is matched with one of four bespoke scents, created by Byredo, which deploys simultaneously from a portal in the centre console.

“We’re known for our human-centric approach to design and as an industry leader in advanced safety technology,” Robin Page said. “Ambience reinforces this and shows our broader focus on human care, which starts with safety and also extends to general well-being.”

While the S90 Ambience is launching as a concept, Volvo Cars has the ambition to make it available in S90 Excellence production cars, to enhance its Excellence offer, especially in China.

In 2017, Volvo sold more than 100,000 cars in China for the first time, which made a significant contribution to the company’s fourth consecutive year of record sales and growth. China is Volvo Cars’ largest single market and the company’s biggest marketplace for the S90 sedan.

“The Ambience Concept was created primarily for the China market and provides a contrast to China’s sometimes hectic city environments,” said Martin Andersson, senior commercial product manager at Volvo Cars’ Special Vehicles department, which is responsible for the Excellence range. “The S90 Ambience Concept will reinforce our premium brand values in this important region.”

Follow the social media coverage on #AmbienceConcept.

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