Volvo has had loads to say in regards to the EX90, its forthcoming totally electrical SUV. Introduced in November 2022, this can be a automobile that is so loaded with tech you would be forgiven for considering it is mainly only a smartphone on wheels. The tech manufacturers that Volvo has turned to actually means that, with Nvidia’s Drive platform, Snapdragon Cockpit and Google utterly built-in for seamless entry to its apps.
We set our eyes on the brand new Volvo EX90 on the firm’s headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, earlier than deliveries begin in early 2024, with a value just below £100,000 within the UK.
2024 Volvo EX90
The Volvo EX90 carries with it some acquainted Volvo design cues, evolving the XC90, whereas taking the corporate’s SUVs into the longer term. This can be a new flagship from Volvo, setting the usual for future automobiles from the model. It is costly, but it surely additionally has lots to supply.
Take one take a look at the Volvo EX90 and you will be forgiven for considering it is Volvo’s XC90. The XC90 is a big automobile by European requirements, dominating roads majestically, with hallmarks of Volvo design via the years. The Thor’s Hammer headlights are the obvious signature, right here not only a daytime operating gentle, however opening as much as reveal the correct headlights behind whenever you want them.
However wanting down the flanks of this automobile, these pronounced shoulders are harking back to Volvos stretching again many years, a extra streamlined tackle these boxy seems that Volvo provided up to now.
There’s now an enclosed entrance, though there are nonetheless vaned panels to the underside that may open and shut to offer extra airflow, for instance to chill the battery when charging. The rear of the automobile maybe sees the largest general change, it is a a lot cleaner design than the XC90, a lot much less fussy, whereas little particulars, just like the flush door handles preserve a pleasant streamlined aesthetic.
These with eagle eyes might need noticed one thing uncommon with the wing mirrors. Volvo has retained a glass mirror (though it is now frameless which seems nice), but it surely’s sitting on a stem that integrates cameras. This varieties a part of the EX90’s 360 imaginative and prescient system, feeding in information to empower the motive force help capabilities.
The obvious factor within the design sits on the roofline. Above the windscreen there is a bump housing the lidar. At first look it seems prefer it ought to say “taxi” on it, however Volvo defined to us that the positioning is to permit the lidar a greater view. It additionally has to sit down proud because the entrance glass can solely be positioned at a specific angle, or the lidar can be much less efficient due to reflections off the within.
That lidar bump would possibly divide opinion, but it surely’s elementary to techniques that Volvo has geared up the automobile with to maintain you secure on the street, and in the end, take additional steps in direction of becoming an autonomous car. Volvo says this is likely one of the most secure automobiles on the street.
A brand new inside
As is now widespread in electric cars, there is a battery within the flooring of the EX90, with a so-called skateboard design for the platform. Meaning a low centre of gravity, whereas additionally affording more room to the cabin – so you possibly can have a flat flooring for instance.
Sustainability stays necessary, with recycled and sustainable supplies used as extensively as attainable, like woollen materials. The primary impression is one among spaciousness, with the panoramic roof (a normal characteristic) boosting the sunshine within the cabin. The EX90 is a seven-seater, with energy folding seats within the third row, which is able to rapidly fold down to increase the rear stowage area. There is a small frunk too.
We have not had the possibility to expertise the consolation of the seats for any nice time period as we have not had the possibility to drive the automobile but, however there is a good minimalist ambiance to the inside. That minimal theme is one thing that Volvo has been chasing for a while, lowering buttons and controls.
That is felt throughout the inside, with the 15-inch central show dealing with just about all the things and steering wheel buttons for the remaining. There’s nonetheless a dial on the centre console – conveniently positioned so you do not at all times have the jab on the display, together with a charging pad on your cellphone. In any other case you are fairly clear strains, punctuated by a proliferation of audio system from the 25-piece Bowers & Wilkins sound system.
The inside know-how
The motive force show is minimalised within the EX90, with Volvo bumping some important particulars to a heads-up show as a substitute, whereas the central display takes care of all the things else. That is not an unusual place: Tesla has eradicated the motive force show in lots of fashions, whereas the forthcoming VW ID.7 does the same – simply the necessities for the motive force show and the remaining on the HUD.
The mannequin we examined was a pre-production prototype, so the inside shows weren’t functioning as they are going to within the ultimate model of this automobile, however we are able to see how they’ve developed from one thing like the XC40 Recharge. There are local weather management capabilities throughout the underside of the show, with widgets for necessary apps and plenty of area for mapping.
Importantly, that is an Android system, utilizing Google providers to energy issues. There’s Google Maps and Google Assistant to take your voice requests. Volvo has stated that Unreal Engine drives on on-screen visuals, whereas Snapdragon Cockpit powers all the things. That each one sits behind the scenes, nevertheless, what’s extra necessary is that you may join your cellphone to entry Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, as you possibly can in different automobiles.
We do not actually know the way effectively the tech answer hangs collectively within the EX90 and that is in all probability going to be the final piece of the puzzle that falls into place. There’s much more happening – there are inside radars to detect motion, IR cameras to keep watch over driver attentiveness, the lidar system in addition to 5 radar, 4 short-range cameras, two long-range cameras, ultrasonic sensors and extra, designed to offer the EX90 a whole image of issues exterior the automobile, in addition to inside.
Volvo EX90 battery and vary
In lieu of driving the EX90, all we are able to do at this stage is discuss what we all know – and what we all know from different Volvo electrical automobiles within the Recharge vary. The Volvo EX90 is provided with a 111kWh battery (gross) with a 107kWh nominal use. This places it in the identical form of capability band as one thing like the BMW i7 or Mercedes EQS.
The vary that Volvo is citing is 600km – 370 miles – WLTP. This in fact has loads of variables as all electrical ranges do, however that you must think about that this can be a 2750kg automobile, so that you’re hauling round loads of weight. However the cited ranges are 21kWh per 100km, which might equate to about 3 miles per kWh. In case you’re aware of electrical automobiles, you may know that is in direction of the low aspect, however once more, we’re speaking about an enormous automobile. Actual world figures, in fact, could possibly be wildly totally different.
However that is additionally launching as an all-wheel drive mannequin, with both a 300kW output or 380kW, the latter providing a 0-62mph time of below 5 seconds, which is terrifyingly quick for a automobile of this measurement. It can additionally provide 250kW charging, which (if you will discover a charger that helps that capability) will recharge you very quickly in any respect.
There’s some engineering to spice up effectivity on this AWD mannequin too, with the rear motor in a position to be disconnected, so that you’re solely driving it from the entrance wheels. That is fairly widespread on all-wheel drive techniques, typically utilizing all of the wheels to speed up, after which solely the entrance wheels to keep up velocity when you’re as much as tempo. It can additionally provide intelligent torque vectoring, in a position to apply the ability intelligently to keep up grip and increase efficiency.
In fact we’re nonetheless ready to truly get behind the wheel and see what these numbers produce – we’re anticipating a refined drive like the prevailing Recharge fashions in Volvo’s line-up
The Volvo EX90 has set out its stall primarily based on its excessive stage of know-how. Volvo continues to be attempting to ship on an ambition to make sure that no Volvo is in or causes an accident and the corporate is satisfied that that is the most secure Volvo ever. It is also prepared for the longer term, in a position to ship larger ranges of self-driving autonomy, principally solely held up by laws.
However except for all that, it is also pushing a distinct form of luxurious for patrons. There aren’t many pure electrical automobiles of this measurement – the BMW iX perhaps, the Mercedes EQS SUV – and we already know from the success of the XC90 that there is an urge for food for Volvo’s method of doing issues. The curiosity within the Volvo EX90 has already been excessive – however we’ll have to attend a bit of longer to study extra about it.