Range-topping Volvo EV to get innovative safety tech and use new SPA2 platform
Volvo’s range-topping new electric car, the EX90, has been previewed ahead of a full reveal on 9 November.
Set to go on sale next year, the electric SUV will be Volvo’s new flagship and the first to sit atop its new SPA2 platform. It will be kitted out with safety technology never before seen on a production vehicle and sold alongside a heavily refreshed version of the current XC90.
New images give little of the car’s final design away, but do hint at how important aerodynamic efficiency has been for the design team – Volvo claims a coefficient of 0.29Cd – and confirm that Lidar technology will be standard across the range. Various visible cues, such as the blanked-off grille and C-shaped light clusters, will link the EX90 to the smaller Volvo C40 Recharge and Volvo XC40 Recharge EVs.
Earlier images showed the EX90’s interior is focused on delivering clear information and data to the driver. The firm has done away with ergonomic buttons, with the majority of functions (such as sat-nav, phone data and media) now controlled through the large central touchscreen.
Driver-focused information in the EX90 is displayed on a smaller screen behind the steering wheel, including range, speed and direct navigation instructions.
“It’s all about providing you with the right information at the right time,” says Thomas Stovicek, Volvo’s head of UX. “We want your driving experience to be focused, simple and safe. Since the car also understands its surroundings and you better than ever before, we can create an even safer situation by reducing mode confusion, distraction and information overload.”
The EX90 will play a fundamental role in Volvo’s goal to sell 600,000 pure-electric cars annually from 2025, as the brand pushes towards becoming a fully electric car maker by 2030.
Released as a production-ready version of the bold Concept Recharge shown in 2021, the new arrival will provide Volvo with a long-awaited entry into the increasingly important full-sized electric SUV segment, into which most premium-oriented manufacturers have launched their debut EVs in recent years.
Volvo’s existing pure EVs, the Volvo XC40 Recharge and coupe-backed Volvo C40 Recharge, sit a segment lower and use the same CMA platform as the conventionally fuelled Volvo XC40.
Some of the concept’s more outlandish and futuristic cues will be toned down for EX90 production – the four free-standing seats, for example. However, the skateboard-style architecture will offer new levels of interior space and flexibility, which concept designer Robin Page likened to a “Scandinavian living room feeling”.
To that end, the production car will ditch physical controls for a cleaner and simpler driver environment. Most of the functions will be controlled through a large-format central touchscreen using operating software developed by Google – as first adopted by the XC40 Recharge and Polestar 2.
The Concept Recharge also heavily hinted at how Volvo will ensure its new flagship EV retains the XC90’s core characteristics while ushering in a totally new approach to exterior and cabin design. It will continue to major on space and practicality via the ‘less is more’ approach exhibited by the concept, which points to an enhanced focus on minimalistic design in Volvo’s new electric era.