|Assembly||Kalmar, Sweden (VKA)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door saloon
|Engine||2.0 L B204E/F 16v I4
(1990–1993, "tax special")
2.0 L B204FT/GT 16v Turbo I4
(1990–1993, Italian and Portuguese markets)
2.3 L B230FT Turbo I4
2.5 L B6244/6254 I6
2.8 L B280E/F (PRV) V6
(1990–1991, certain markets)
2.9 L B6304 I6
2.4 L D24TIC Turbodiesel I6 (VW)
|Transmission||5-speed manual (M90)
4-speed automatic (AW30-43)
|Wheelbase||109.1 in (2,771 mm)
115 in (2,921 mm) (Executive)
|Length||5,020 mm (197.6 in) (Executive)
191.7 in (4,869 mm) (1992–94 sedan)
191.8 in (4,872 mm) (1995–98 sedan)
189.3 in (4,808 mm) (1992–94 estate)
191.4 in (4,862 mm) (1995–98 estate)
|Width||69.3 in (1,760 mm)
68.9 in (1,750 mm) (1995–97 sedan)
|Height||55.5 in (1,410 mm) (sedan)
56.5 in (1,435 mm) (1992–94 estate)
57.6 in (1,463 mm) (1995–98 estate)
56.6 in (1,438 mm) (1995–98 sedan)
Autumn of 1990 marked the launch of the Volvo 960 in time for the 1991 model year. This was the replacement for the 760. The 1991 960 was an evolutionary progression of the 1990 760, but it was also one of the first cars to feature the work of British designer Peter Horbury.
The most significant change was that, in most markets, the 960 was offered with an all-new aluminum 24-valve DOHC inline six-cylinder engine, often referred to as "white block" in the Volvo community due to its bare aluminum block. Max power was 204 PS (150 kW) at 6,000 rpm. Some markets, such as Australia and Japan, saw 1991 960s equipped with the same B280E/F V6 engine (145 PS or 107 kW at 5,100 rpm) that had powered the 1990 760. The 1992 model year saw the U.S. introduction of the DOHC inline six-cylinder engine. For the Italian and Portuguese markets, the 960 was available with the 16v 2-litre turbo (190/200 PS, 140/147 kW) from September 1990 until September 1993 along with the inline sixes. Certain markets also received the 2.3 litre turbo 'Redblock' four, with 165 PS (121 kW) and the Volkswagen built D24TIC with 116 or 122 PS (85 or 90 kW).
The 960 received incremental changes for the 1992, 1993, and 1994 model years. Most visible were the new more shapely seats, and redesigned seat-belts with hydraulic pretensioners for 1992. 1993 saw a new more ergonomic shifter, and in 1994 dual front airbags were introduced in some markets. The opaque sunroof was replaced by a sliding sunshade and glass window. In 1994, the US version of the 3-litre six was tuned for more torque and a less peaky power delivery in favor of U.S. emissions regulations, with 181 PS (133 kW) at 5,200 rpm and 270 N·m (199 lb·ft) at 4,100 rpm (as opposed to 267 N·m or 197 lb·ft at 4,300 rpm for the rest of the world).
A small coachbuilder in Laholm, Sweden, called Nilsson, worked under contract with Volvo to supply the stretched 960 Executive (and later Royal model, with Hermes leather interior). Nilsson provided a number of different lengths and sealed the window in the c-pillar, for more privacy in the rear. The Executive had longer rear doors, longer versions had inserts behind the b-pillar.
For North America, the 1992–94 Volvo 960s were built in Kalmar, Sweden. The very first Volvo 960 for the US-market rolled off the assembly line on August 12, 1991 as a 1992 model. The 1995 to 1998 960s were built in Göteborg, Sweden. The first 1995 model year (facelift) 960 was built on June 27, 1994.
In 1994 (for the 1995 model year) the 960 received a facelift, including changes to the grille and body-coloured panels. A smaller 2.5 version of the six-cylinder (2,473 cc) was also added to the lineup, with 170 or 180 PS (125 or 132 kW) for the B6244FS version.
Only the modular six-cylinder engines were available from model year 1995 on. The front suspension was redesigned to more closely match that of the 850. The rear suspension received a completely redesigned multi-link independent system with a single transverse fibreglass leaf spring. The 1995 wagon received independent rear suspension. Boge's Nivomat self-levelling rear suspension system became an option rather than standard equipment.
Trim levels were GLT and SE for European markets.
From 1996, Volvo renamed the 960 in select markets as Volvo S90 (sedan) and Volvo V90 (wagon) in alignment with the letter-and-number naming scheme used on their other models. This renaming applied to several European countries in late 1996, in North America from late 1996 for the 1997 model year, and in Australia from March 1997. The new name coincided with an improved air conditioning system.
All US cars were equipped with an electronically controlled Aisin AW-series automatic transmission. Beginning in the 1995 model year, European cars with the 2.5 L engines were also available with a manual transmission, the so-called M90, a strong new design that was derived from the Volvo 850's transmission. With the demise of the 2.5 L engine, the M90 was paired with a detuned version (180 PS or 132 kW) of the 3.0 L engine.
Production of the 960 and its S90 and V90 derivatives ended on 5 February 1998.