- Volvo says the EX90 is available for pre-order today but hasn’t specified a price. Instead, the company promises 7 seats “It will be available and well-equipped for less than $80,000.”
- Customers will be required to pre-order their vehicles in the fall of 2023 and receive them in 2024
- An all-electric 3-row SUV, the EX90 will have a wide array of sensors that look inside and outside the vehicle.
Volvo’s next flagship will be a stylish, low-range, all-electric SUV with over 400 horsepower and one of the most comprehensive safety packages the auto industry has ever seen. It includes an amazing array of sensors that monitor the road and monitor the driver.
The Volvo EX90 2024 will start at less than $80,000, Volvo says, with exact pricing coming later. It arrives as early as 2024, but customers will be required to place their orders in late 2023. Reservations are now open on Volvo’s website.
“This is not just the launch of a new model from Volvo, it is the launch of a new era.”
Never let anyone tell you that Volvo doesn’t know how to attract people. The company launched its latest product at a press conference titled Presentation by new Swedish soul artist Sinabu C. Volvo CEO Jim Rowan slowly jammed an introduction about her song, explaining that the company is “proudly Swedish” in his thick Glasgow film.
We didn’t make up any of that. And no, it has nothing to do with the car. But we hope you tell us that part first, too.
Rowan said the EX90 would usher in a new era for Volvo, focused on “new technology, of course, but grounded in our Scandinavian heritage.”
A brand new platform (sort of)
The EX90 rides on an all-new electric vehicle platform — a skateboard-like combination of battery, electric motors, suspension and steering that fits perfectly under the floor to maximize cabin space.
It’s the first Volvo built on the new platform, but it may not be the first to hit showrooms on it. It was shared with the upcoming Polestar 3 from sister company Polestar.
At launch, Volvo says, the EX90 will come in one configuration — an all-wheel drive setup using two electric motors, one for each axle. It’s good for 496 hp.
Rowan promised a driving range of “up to 600 kilometers,” or about 372 miles. This number almost certainly comes from European tests. Tests by the US Environmental Protection Agency tend to show much shorter ranges, so we’d expect a final figure of less than 300 miles.
It features bi-directional charging, enabling it to charge electronics or other electric vehicles or act as a backup power source for a home in a blackout. Volvo says the battery will charge from 10% to 80% in “only about 30 minutes” or gain 180 km (111 miles) of range in just 10 minutes when connected to a DC fast charger.
Two-way charging will eventually allow electric vehicles to return power to electric grids. Some electric utilities have launched small scale pilot projects that they see as paying electric vehicle owners to use their cars as distributed energy storage.
Elegant appearance, blinking eyes
The EX90’s shape has evolved significantly from the XC90 3-row SUV. But it looks sleeker and more trimmed all around, with a more detailed look. It sits low for aerodynamic reasons.
The wheels have their aerodynamic feel – removable inserts that cover rivets and add smoothness. Volvo says it contributes to the extra range by smoothing the airflow but hasn’t revealed how much it will cost to replace it if you lose one on the wrong pavement.
Where the grille will sit on a petrol car, there is a soft area of body-colored steel.
Framed by some totally unique lighting elements. It’s shaped in the “Thor Hammer” pattern of other Volvo trucks – when they start up, they even display that pattern on the wall in front of them. In daylight, they are built from square pixels. But turn on the headlights, part two lines of pixels horizontally and open them to reveal the projector lights behind them.
It looks eerily like the twinkle of human eyes. Volvo engineers suggested using “flicker” to greet friends.
So. many. sensors
Externally, the EX90 has “16 ultrasonic sensors, five radars, and a new LiDAR system mounted directly to the roofline for maximum visibility,” Rowan said. They are all standard equipment and are used to create a 3D representation of the vehicle’s environment called a “cloud point” for the vehicle’s driver assistance systems.
Roan promised that the lidar sees 250 meters [about 820 feet] in complete darkness” and can spot the little things and potholes to avoid. It doesn’t power the Level 3 autonomous drive system that Volvo says it’s working on. But it does fuel automatic emergency braking, emergency steering assist, and other accident-avoidance tech.
Volvo engineers believe the system, conservatively, could prevent one in 10 accidents and reduce the impact of five in 10.
Sensors also point inward.
Rowan said the new “Driver Understanding System” uses in-vehicle cameras and radar to detect “drowsiness of the driver, intoxication and even illness.” “It will alert you, first by pushing gently, then more urgently,” says Volvo, if necessary. “And if the unthinkable happens, and you fall asleep or feel sick while driving, the Volvo EX90 is designed to stop safely and call for help.”
The same sensors power the rear-seat detection system. Volvo says it’s so sensitive that it would spot a baby sleeping under a blanket in the back seat. If you accidentally leave a child or pet in the car, this will alert you and will not allow you to lock it.
A small cabin with lighting is the first of its kind
The cabin of the EX90 is built in the traditional, sparse and elegant Volvo design style. The designers said the Spare Parts style was inspired by the scarcity of light in Swedish landscapes, which encouraged them to do more with fewer resources.
The central 14.5-inch touchscreen controls the infotainment and infotainment functions. It runs on Google built-in, with the Google Voice Assistant taking voice commands.
The dashboard includes backlit wood trim – a feature we’ve seen before, but this could be its first appearance in a production car. In daylight, it looks like ordinary wood trim. In the dark, lights shine through in a diamond pattern.
Volvo says the cabin is leather-free, with sustainable surfaces throughout, including 48 kilograms (105 pounds) of recycled materials.
Spatially enhanced sound includes high-frequency speakers in the seat headrests.
In a relaxed touch, the designers dug in “Does it fit?” Head over to the tailgate, showing how to place some common items to maximize cargo space.
The EX90 enters a crowded space. Several competitors introduced luxury SUVs this year, from the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV to the new Audi Q8 e-tron. But it does offer some unique features we haven’t seen before, including the most comprehensive set of sensors on the market.
We’ll get impressions of what it’s like to drive with their help as soon as we get the chance.