Autumn 1990 saw the launch of the Volvo 960, in time for the 1991 model year. The new Volvo 960 replaced the outgoing Volvo 760, which had been on the market since 1982.
The Volvo 960 was powered by an all-new in-line 6-cylinder engine, with a displacement of 3 litres. It was an advanced power unit featuring an aluminium cylinder block and double overhead camshafts allied to 4 valves per cylinder. This engine represented the first stage in an entirely new generation of in-line engines, which eventually extended into the creation of a new series of 5-cylinder and 4-cylinder Volvo engines.
For the Volvo 960 a number of new safety features was also unveiled, among them a three-point inertia reel seatbelt and an adjustable head restraint for the middle of the rear seat. Further enhancing the new car's safety profile, an integrated child seat built into the rear seat's middle armrest could be specified as an optional extra.
These and other safety developments gained the model considerable international accolade, not least among them the "Prince Michael Road Safety Award" and the "Autocar & Motor" prize for the best safety features.
For model year 1995, the Volvo 960 underwent a comprehensive redesign. The front was given a new appearance; the chassis was almost totally new, including a further developed version of the multi-link rear suspension with a transversely mounted leaf spring of composite material. A new 2.5 litre version of the 6-cylinder engine supplemented the previous 3-litre version.
In 1997, the Volvo S90 replaced the 960 Sedan.