The first Volvo car to leave the assembly line was the Volvo OV 4, back in 1927. The S90 (along with the V90) presented in 1997 were re-badged and refreshed versions of the older Volvo 960, and carried over that attention to safety.
The letters S, C and V present in the nomenclature were used with a purpose, with the S coming from sedans, V from versatility and C from coupes. No major changes were brought to the table as the manufacturer's purpose was to align these models with the new nomenclature strategy already applied for Volvo S40 and V40. The differences consisted of new colors for both interior and exterior.
The S90 was available as a 4-door Sedan, while the V90 was a 5-door station wagon. The car was driven by a 6-cylinder in-line DOHC unit with either a 2,473 cc or a 2,922 cc displacement, paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission. The S90 was offered in SE and Royal variants (long wheel-base). Its peak power was 150 kW, with a peak torque of 267 Nm at 4300 rpm.
Safety wise, the car had dual front airbags, front side airbags, ABS and front seatbelt pretensioners.
The standard features for the Volvo S90 SE included lots of goodies: climate control AC, leather seats, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power windows and mirrors, power sunroof and 16-inch alloy wheels.