Volvo has aggressive plans to go full-electric by 2030 and has similarly set 2040 as its target for becoming carbon neutral. The current range of hybrids and electrics that have been built on adapted ICE platforms will slowly give way over the next decade to born-electric platforms. The XC40 Recharge and the C40 are built on the CMA platform, which was originally for ICE vehicles.
The first all-electric from the ground up will be the EX90, and it will be the flagship for Volvo, even as its garage becomes progressively populated by BEVs.
The new Volvo EX90 was unveiled for a global audience in November last year. Volvo Cars decided to give us visiting journalists a sneak peek of the 7-seater eSUV at the company’s design headquarters just outside Göteborg. What you see in these pictures is the final production version of the flagship; this is not a concept! And Volvo officials say that the EX90 represents the design and technology direction that the company would take for future vehicles.
The design of the EX90 is still unmistakably Volvo, and the proportions are those of a large flagship with three rows of seats. But, the profile is sleeker, and the roofline is just that bit shorter to give the vehicle one of the most aerodynamic profiles for any Volvo. Its coefficient of drag (CD value) is just 0.29. And that classic long bonnet, pushed-back passenger cell, and coach-like rear give the EX90, the perfect combination of sophistication and terrain-conquering stance.
There are a number of design features that standout, like the retractable door handles, the lidar and radar housing on the top edge of the roof, the stalked door mirrors, which include a hi-tech combination of cameras, and the reinterpretation of the front and rear designs. Though the EX90 will eventually replace the XC90 , the new e-SUV still carries over the legacy of Volvo design in the Thor-hammer headlamps, the subtle wheel arches, the near-parallel strokes for the shoulder, waist, and side character lines, and the still recognisable tail-lamps at the rear. The redesigned light elements are more futuristic, with the Thor-hammer LED DRLs now parting open to reveal the main headlamps.
The cabin is similarly an even more minimalist and reinterpreted version of the XC90. Of course, in keeping with the ongoing trend of screens replacing buttons and controls, the EX90 gets a massive, inverted laptop-sized touchscreen that offers access to all the key functions. There is more focus on sourcing sustainable materials, and yet, there are also those key touches of luxury in the trim elements to reference the EX90’s top position in the hierarchy.
Lots of other tech and features including a smartphone as a key, a Bowers & Wilkins music system with Dolby Atmos decoding and headrest integrated speakers, and bidirectional charging for the battery so it can be used for vehicle-to-load functions such as charging electrical appliances.
Loaded with tech
The EX90 has also been loaded with Volvo’s latest sensing tech, to create an “invisible shield of safety” both inside and outside. Sensors like cameras, radars, and lidar are connected to the car’s high-performance core computers, where NVIDIA DRIVE runs Volvo Cars’ in-house software to create a real-time, 360-degree view of the world. In the cabin too, special sensors and cameras powered by in-house developed algorithms gauge eye gaze concentration. The technology allows the EX90’s systems to understand when the driver is distracted, drowsy, or otherwise inattentive, beyond what has been possible in a Volvo car to date.
With its new, in-house developed fully electric technology, the Volvo EX90 delivers up to 600 km of battery driving range on a single charge (WLTP test cycle). The battery pack can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in around 30 minutes. The initially available twin-motor all-wheel drive version is powered by a 111 kWh battery and two permanent magnet electric motors, delivering in its performance version 517 hp and 910 Nm of torque. Volvo also claims that in combination with the brand new chassis, the EX90 will offer a smooth driving experience.
The EX90 will be launched in the US market later this year, followed by China. It will make it to our shores too, though the timeframe has not been finalised yet.