2024 Volvo EX90 SUV Is an Emphatic Entry into the Electric Era
The 2024 EX90 is Volvo's first purpose-built electric vehicle.
Volvo also describes the three-row EX90 as its flagship SUV.
The EX90 will arrive in U.S. showrooms in early 2024 and is expected to be priced starting under $80,000.
UPDATE 5/11/23: Production of the Volvo EX90 is being delayed, according to a report from Automotive News. U.S. deliveries will now begin in the third quarter of 2024, with the hold up coming as the result of software development obstacles as Volvo readies the new electric platform.
Volvo boasts that its current lineup is fully electrified, meaning that every car's powertrain—including the gas-engine ones—has at least some battery-electric component. The brand's stated goal, however, is to go much further and sell only battery-electric EVs—and no gas-powered cars—starting in 2030. So far, Volvo has two electrics, the XC40 Recharge and the related C40 Recharge, both adaptations of an existing architecture. With the all-new EX90, which is designed from the ground up for electric propulsion exclusively, we get our first look at Volvo's EV future.
A New EV Architecture
The car will launch with a dual-motor powertrain driving all four wheels. The two permanent-magnet motors produce a combined 402 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque in the standard version. The Twin Motor Performance model will have 496 horsepower and 671 pound-feet. Volvo estimates that the standard twin-motor EX90 will accelerate to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, with the Performance version knocking a second off that time. The chassis features air springs, and the brakes measure 15.7/15.4 inches front/rear. The turning circle, at 38.7 feet, is about a foot tighter than that of today's XC90.
The EX90 uses a 400-volt architecture, and the battery will have a usable capacity of 107.0 kWh, with a targeted range of up to 300 miles. Using a 250.0-kWh connection, the EX90 will be able to charge from 10 to 80 percent in approximately 30 minutes. The car will also come with Plug and Charge for automated payment at charging stations.
The EX90's EV architecture will allow for bi-directional charging capability, meaning that the car's battery could charge your house, either during a power outage or, possibly, even to sell battery-stored energy back to the grid during peak hours. Volvo will sell the necessary home hookup and energy management software, although which markets we see this capability in remains to be seen. When away from home, the EX90's battery can power accessories or lend some juice to another Volvo EV.
Much of the powertrain matches that of the recently unveiled Polestar 3—the battery capacity, the motors' torque output, and even the bi-directional charging capability.
Pushing the Boundaries on Safety
The EX90 also promises to be "safer than any Volvo car to come before it." That safety push takes several forms.
Two cameras trained on the driver plus a steering-wheel sensor combine to determine the pilot's level of alertness. If the driver has become incapacitated, the system can stop the car at the roadside and turn on the hazard lights.
In-car radar is designed to detect a child or pet left in the vehicle. If the system detects a child or pet, it can display a reminder, prevent you from locking the doors, and run the climate control system to maintain a comfortable temperature.
The car launches with Volvo's Pilot Assist system, which adds lane-change functionality to its current lane-centering capability. The EX90 also will come with the hardware for eventual "unsupervised driving."
The EX90's exterior design was previewed by the Concept Recharge, although the EX90's shape and proportions are more SUV-like than the concept's more wagon-like, lower-roof profile. In fact, the EX90's exterior dimensions are close to those of the existing XC90. The wheelbase is the same at 117.5 inches, while the overall length grows by just over three inches, to 198.3. The EX90 is about an inch and a half wider at 77.3 inches, and about an inch lower at 68.8 inches.
To achieve a claimed drag coefficient of 0.29, the grille-less front end is rounded, the door handles and window glass are flush with the body-side surface, and the 22-inch wheels have separate wheel-cover inserts to smooth airflow. The car’s lidar sensors, which will be used for the eventual self-driving capability, are housed in a bump at the forward edge of the roof.
Overall, though, the exterior design doesn't stray from Volvo's existing design language. That's intentional, according to Robin Page, Volvo's global head of design. "We made a conscious decision not to go too crazy," he says. "Later on, we can be more playful."
A New Interior Concept
The EX90 debuts a new interior design for Volvo and is largely shared with the Polestar 3. The spare, minimalist dashboard has a large, vertically oriented center touchscreen for most functions. A smaller screen in front of the driver functions as a digital instrument cluster, displaying speed and range as well as a graphic of the car and surrounding traffic.
Knobs and nearly all physical buttons are banished. The exception is a large volume knob on the center console; gear selection is via a column stalk. Volvo attempts to make navigating the large, 14.5-inch central touchscreen easier by surfacing different functions on the home screen when the car is parked or driving, or whether there's an ongoing phone call or audio playing. A few basic climate controls are at the bottom of the screen, much like current Volvos; even the glovebox door opens via an on-screen button. As in today's Volvos, the infotainment system is Google based but also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with a wireless connection.
Like many EVs, the EX90 includes a panoramic glass roof—which may be swell in the gloom of a Scandinavian winter but will place an additional burden on the air conditioning in a Florida or Arizona summer.
Size-wise, the EX90 cabin volume is very similar to that of the XC90. Passenger legroom in the front, middle, and third rows are all within an inch of the existing car, at 40.9, 36.5, and 31.9 inches. Cargo volume also is about the same, with the EX90 offering 13 cubic feet behind the rearmost seats and 68 cubic feet with all seatbacks folded. There's also a small frunk with just over one cubic foot of space.
Volvo previously announced that its EVs would have leather-free interiors, and the EX90 offers Nordico as a leather substitute along with a wool-blend fabric. Other textiles are made from recycled plastic bottles. Trim pieces from FSC-certified wood are backlit for "a Scandinavian living room atmosphere." The carpets are made in part from recycled materials. Volvo says that 15 percent of all the plastics used in the EX90 are recycled or bio-based.
Other tech highlights: The EX90 will come standard with smartphone-as-key functionality. The top audio system, by Bowers & Wilkins, will feature Dolby Atmos and blast music through 25 speakers, including in the headrests.
EX90 Pricing and Arrival Date
The EX90 will be built in Ridgeville, South Carolina, for the U.S. market—alongside the Polestar 3—and is expected to reach dealerships in early 2024. However, customers can pre-order their cars now and then will be able to finalize their EX90 spec in the fall of 2023. Pricing isn't being released yet, with Volvo saying only that the car will be "well equipped at under $80,000." Besides buying or leasing, the EX90 will be available through the brand's Care by Volvo subscription plan. The model will be sold alongside the current XC90 at the top of the Swedish brand's lineup before eventually supplanting the XC90. The EX90 starts a parade of Volvo EVs, with the company saying it plans to introduce one new electric model per year (a small SUV is likely to be the next up). It will be interesting to see how closely they hew to the EX90.
This story was originally published November 9, 2022.
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