Volvo XC90 Excellence

The Range Rover has dominated the luxury SUV market – with competitors from Bentley and Rolls-Royce still a ways away from becoming a reality, the British institution has allowed itself to reach new heights with ever more opulent variants, culminating in the extravagant SVAutobiography. But the Swedes, of all people, aren’t letting it have its own way, as they field a new Volvo XC90 Excellence for 2015 Auto Shanghai.

Near-indistinguishable from the regular model from the outside (save for “Excellence” badging, chrome B- and C-pillar trim and chrome lower door mouldings), the range-topper is markedly different on the inside. It jettisons three out of the original seven seats, leaving behind four individual chairs – rear passengers get massive amounts of extra legroom as a result.

Not only that, the aircraft-style rear seats can be reclined, and feature massage and ventilation functionality. Between them runs a large centre console hiding folding tables, a retractable touchscreen controller, a refrigerator with bottle and glass holders, heated and cooled cupholders as well as handmade crystal glasses from Swedish glass design company Orrefors (the same people who create the XC90’s crystal gear lever).

Volvo XC90 Excellence - interior

Added to that, there are rear footrests, ambient lighting, illuminated storage, unique detailing on the blond or charcoal leather upholstery, a luggage compartment divider, additional cabin insulation and Pirelli Noise Cancelling System (PNCS) tyres for a quieter ride. Want to fill the added silence? The Excellence adds an extra speaker to the regular 19-speaker Bowers and Wilkins sound system to help you do that.

Rounding out the accoutrements list are an added ionic air cleaner in the CleanZone climate system, a leather-covered dashboard with contrasting stitching and a colour-coordinated pure Nubuck textile headliner.

The Volvo XC90 Excellence will be headed to global markets beginning later this year, and – like the 1,927-unit First Edition – will also be available for sale online in selected countries.

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