‘On the EX90’s headlights’ section added to ‘Design.’
The highly anticipated Volvo EX90 is finally here, and it offers American customers a pure-electric alternative to the XC90, which is available with mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrain options. Here are all the details of the new flagship Volvo model:
Most automakers are going for radically different designs for their bespoke electric SUVs, leveraging the many benefits of dedicated EV platforms. However, Volvo Cars has designed the EX90 much like the XC90. The electric model is more streamlined and technical-looking, but its resemblance to the gas model is undeniable. As we’ll explain later in this section, that’s not a bad thing at all.
The EX90 doesn’t cut through the air very efficiently because of its tall and boxy body. Its drag coefficient is 0.29 Cd, which is an improvement of just 0.01 Cd from the XC90. Mercedes-Benz’s EQE SUV and EQS SUV are far more aerodynamic, having Cd values of 0.25 and 0.26, respectively.
While the EX90 isn’t a radical departure from the XC90, it has many distinguishing design elements. The headlamps are T-shaped, slimmer units, and the Thor’s Hammer signature is more clearly visible in its daytime running lights. Moreover, the EX90 has high-definition 1.3-megapixel lights.
On the EX90’s headlights
Until now, we’ve seen luxury EVs featuring headlamps with cool animation and projection functions. Looking at the EX90’s XC90-ish design, most wouldn’t expect it, but it raises the bar in this aspect. The horizontal segments of DRLs of its headlamps rise and fold back to theatrically reveal the main lights (low- and high-beam lights). This function, replicating the look of the opening of eyes, gives the EX90 a human touch, a life-like appearance.
The EX90’s Thor’s Hammer headlights are “probably the most complex headlights” from Volvo Cars to date, Gauging Kalsaria, the head of future vehicles at the company’s U.S. subsidiary, told Jalopnik at a preview event of the EV in New York in the second week of March 2023. Six elements of the new Thor’s Hammer headlights make its head and ten more elements create its handle. These ten light sources illuminate to form the daytime running lights. They ‘present’ the main lights when needed. There’s a lot of mechanical work involved in the operation of these headlights, Kalsaria said.
A welcome/leaving animation is quickly becoming a trend in headlights of luxury vehicles. The new Thor’s Hammer headlights do follow that trend, obviously. All the DRL elements turn on in a sequence, and then the main lights make a quick appearance. One might even say it’s the EX90 greeting hello with a confident wink. Customers would love to show it off that it can wink, Kalsaria said.
The headlamps have an individual vertical extension below, which Robin Page, Head of Global Design & UX, Volvo Cars, says symbolizes the lightning strike of swirling Thor’s Hammer. There’s a clean shield instead of a traditional upper grille, as cooling needs are much lower than in a gas-powered model like the XC90. There are no side air inlets either. The hood has been positioned low, while the bumper is smooth, just like the clean shield.
The side profile of the Volvo EX90 has a proper modern SUV look. Customers who prefer conventional designs will appreciate this all-electric Volvo’s confident and muscular character, not to mention the large practical windows that give a great view of the surroundings.
The door handles are flush-fitted and pop out electronically when activated. The 22-inch wheels give the EX90 a strong yet highly sophisticated road presence but don’t represent a size upgrade from the XC90. They’re more aerodynamic by design, though, featuring inserts that reduce the air turbulence around them (and cover their bolts). Overall, it’s a fancy side profile but not particularly impressive with a wow factor.
The rear end of the EX90 has a very familiar look. It has subtle refinements over the XC90. In addition to being shorter, the back glass is squarer, which is why it visually separates itself from the rest of the tailgate neatly. The vertical combination lamps have been split into two parts. The upper part is a segmented, technical-looking, and vertically stacked light strip positioned on the flanks of the back glass. The lower part is a C-shaped light bracketing a concave portion on the middle area of the tailgate.
On the top, there’s an unusual bump to integrate a LiDAR sensor from Luminar. Volvo Cars plans the EX90 with this equipment as standard, which means that every unit it sells will be hardware-ready for fully autonomous driving with Highway Pilot. That might not be the case right from launch, but more on that later.
Volvo Cars offers the 2024 EX90 in the U.S. in seven colors:
- Denim Blue
- Sand Dune
- Crystal White
- Onyx Black
- Platinum Grey
- Silver Dawn
- Vapour Grey
The Volvo EX90 features a futuristic, lounge-style interior with a low-profile dashboard, a giant 15-inch freestanding portrait touchscreen, a sleek and compact instrument cluster, and a detached center console. The smaller footprint of the dashboard, steering wheel, and instrument cluster, the thin and wide, car-like form factor of first-row AC vents, and various other more modern interior design bits help the EX90 make a clear distinction from the XC90. Its roots are immediately visible, though, as the layout is similar.
Android Automotive OS powers the instrument cluster and infotainment system. Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play are built-in. Android Automotive OS is part of an umbrella of operating systems called VolvoCars.OS. Page says that the instrument cluster and infotainment system of the EX90 provides two and a half times the operating speed compared to today’s car (XC90). The infotainment system features wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, 5G, and over-the-air (OTA) updates.
Volvo Cars has teamed up with Epic Games to use Unreal Engine to develop the HMI of its next-gen cars. The 3D creation tool’s application goes beyond games, including automotive electronics. Unreal Engine gets computing power from the third-gen Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms. As a result, customers will experience much sharper renderings, richer colors, and all-new 3D animations in the Volvo EX90.
Premium and Sustainable Materials
The EX90 offers the experience of Scandinavian simplicity in a contemporary way with premium and sustainable materials. Volvo Cars has used FSC-certified wood panels back-lit with warm light on the passenger-side dashboard and other places and Nordico (a bio-resin made from Pine and recycled materials including plastic) or Sativa-certified wool blend seat upholstery (optional), and base and inlay carpets partly consisting of regenerated polyamide.
Almost 50 kg (110 lbs.) of recycled plastics and bio-based materials are used in the EX90, the highest amount of non-primary fossil-based materials in any Volvo. There are seven options of “rooms,” which are combinations of decor, upholstery, and exterior colors. Interior color options include many light options for a calming yet energizing feeling.
Without going into details, Jim Rowan, Volvo Cars’ President and CEO, says that the Volvo EX90 sits on a brand-new platform that allows for maximum energy storage capacity and maximum stability. Formally, Volvo Cars isn’t establishing any connection with the XC90’s SPA platform. Rowan says that the designing and development of the EX90’s new inverters, new motors, and new battery management system took place in-house.
The EX90 measures 198.3 in. in length, 77.3 in. in width, and 68.7 in. in height and has a 2,985 mm (117.5 in.) wheelbase. In comparison, the XC90 Recharge measures 195.0 in. in length, 79.1 in. in width, and 69.9 in. in height and has a 117.5 in. wheelbase.
We talk about the XC90’s design and dimensions to point out the extreme similarities with the EX90, which suggest the latter’s platform is related to the former’s SPA platform, not a brand-new one as officially claimed, at least not technically. Seven seats are standard in the electric SUV.
|Dimension||Volvo EX90 Measurement|
|Wheelbase||2,985 mm (117.5 in.)|
|Cargo Space (second- and third-row seats up)||365 liters (12.9 cu. ft.)|
|Cargo Space (third-row seats folded)||1,010 liters (35.7 cu. ft.)|
|Cargo Space (second- and third-row seats folded)||67.6 cu. ft.|
|Frunk||37 liters (1.3 cu. ft.)|
Volvo Cars has installed two permanent magnet synchronous motors with dual-clutch technology for improved efficiency and torque vectoring capabilities in the EX90. The EX90’s twin-motor powertrain is front-biased, meaning motive power comes from the front motor, not the rear unit. This, too, makes us doubt Volvo Cars developed the platform from scratch as it claims by calling it “brand-new.” If you didn’t know it yet, the XC90’s SPA is also an FWD platform.
The EX90 starts on the front motor by default, but it can use both motors if the driver applies more throttle for a greater drive off the line. Thus, normally, the rear motor activates when there’s a need for more power. It consists of a torque vectoring/declutch unit that allows disengaging itself and reducing energy consumption when not required. A ‘Constant AWD’ setting is available to keep the rear motor also functioning at all times.
Volvo Cars offers the EX90 in Twin Motor and Twin Motor Performance variants. The Twin Motor variant draws 300 kW (402 hp) and 568 lb.-ft. of torque from the motors, while the Twin Motor Performance variant extracts 370 kW (496 hp) and 671 lb.-ft. of torque. The former takes 5.7 seconds for a 0-60 mph sprint, while the latter can do the same in 4.7 seconds. The top speed is 112 mph. Volvo Cars has equipped the EX90 with one-pedal driving technology.
Battery & Charging
The Volvo EX90 has a 17-module, 107 kWh battery pack sourced from CATL. Volvo Cars expects the EPA-est. range of the Twin Motor variant to be 482 km (300 miles), but it hasn’t disclosed the targeted EPA-est. range of the Twin Motor Performance variant.
Fully charging the EX90’s battery pack on alternating current at the maximum rate, which is 11 kW, takes 11 hours. 250 kW is the maximum supported DC charging power, and at that rate, charging from 0 to 80% SoC takes just 30 minutes.
The Volvo EX90 is the brand’s first model to feature bi-directional charging. Customers can power their homes, devices, and appliances, charge other EVs, and supply electricity to the grid using the energy stored in their EX90’s high-voltage battery pack.
|Aspect\Specification||Volvo EX90 Twin Motor||Volvo EX90 Twin Motor Performance|
|No. of Motors||Two||Two|
|Motor Type||3-phase Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor||3-phase Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor|
|Combined Power||370 kW (402 hp)||300 kW (495 hp)|
|Combined Torque||568 lb.-ft.||671 lb.-ft.|
|0-60 mph Acceleration Time||5.7 seconds||4.7 seconds|
|Top Speed||112 mph||112 mph|
|Battery Pack Capacity (Net)||107 kWh||107 kWh|
|Max. AC Charging Power||11 kW||11 kW|
|AC Charging Time (0-100% SoC)||11 hours||11 hours|
|Max. DC Charging Power||250 kW||250 kW|
|DC Charging Time (0-80% SoC)||30 minutes||30 minutes|
|EPA-est. Range (Preliminary)||482 km (300 miles)||To Be Announced|
Safety & driver assistance
The Volvo EX90 excels every Volvo so far on safety. 30 sensors, including a LiDAR sensor, eight cameras, 16 ultrasonic sensors, and five radars, create a 360-degree real-time view of the surroundings. In addition to providing high-level passive safety, these sensors enable autonomous driving once Volvo Cars’ safety verifications are in place and it has received all necessary approvals.
The LiDAR sensor sees small objects hundreds of meters ahead. Planned to be standardized over time (at a later stage), this technology can see something as dark and small as a tire on a black road 120 meters ahead. It can detect pedestrians from up to 250 meters away. All this is possible while the EV is traveling at highway speeds.
The LiDAR sensor is no marketing gimmick; it can make a difference in real-world situations. According to the Swedish automaker’s research, it can reduce accidents with severe outcomes by up to 20% and improve overall crash avoidance by up to 9%. According to Joachim de Verdier, the company’s head of Safe Vehicle Automation, the EX90 is the safest Volvo car ever launched.
The EX90 features a world-first interior radar system, ensuring nobody, especially a child or a pet, is left behind, neither in the cabin space nor in the trunk. There are sensors integrated into the overhead console, the roof-mounted reading lamps, and the trunk!
The interior radar system comes into life every time the driver locks the vehicle and checks for any people or pets left behind before the vehicle applies the locks. If it detects someone is left behind, the vehicle remains unlocked and displays a reminder to check the cabin for occupants on the touchscreen infotainment system. Moreover, the climate system remains turned on to protect the person or pet from the risk of heatstroke or hypothermia.
Driver understanding system
In addition to the surroundings, the Volvo EX90 is intelligent enough to assess the driver’s state. A real-time interior sensing system that can help the EV understand when the driver is not in an optimal state for driving and take the necessary action as a precaution is part of the standard equipment.
The driver understanding system consists of two cameras and a capacitive steering wheel. The cameras measure how much of the time the driver looks at the road ahead and look for any signs of cognitive distraction. The captive steering wheel senses if the driver lets their hands off it. The system gives warnings in progressive intensity, and if the driver doesn’t respond, it brings the Volvo EX90 to a complete halt by the side of the road.
The Volvo EX90 features Ride Pilot, a new unsupervised autonomous driving feature. Volvo Cars will offer Ride Pilot initially only in California. The company plans to sell this feature as an add-on subscription, which means customers in other states and countries will be able to activate it later when it becomes available. Volvo Cars could offer optional packs for enabling the EX90’s premium ADAS functions, including those for autonomous driving.
The new EV’s autonomous driving capability allows customers to relax and enjoy their highway trips with their hands off the steering wheel. They can read, socialize, write, or work and better use their time. The software required for the autonomous driving system to work is a collaborative effort of Zenseact, Volvo Cars, and Luminar.
Production of the U.S.-spec EX90 will take place at Volvo Cars’ plant in Charleston (Ridgeville), South Carolina. During the company’s Q4 2022 and CY2022 earnings conference call on February 9, 2023, Rowan said that production wouldn’t start “until well into the fourth quarter.” We expect the first customer delivery units to begin rolling off the assembly line in December 2023.
Price & Release Date
The Volvo EX90 is available to reserve with a refundable deposit of USD 500, and customers pre-ordering it now will be able to configure it in Fall 2023. Volvo Cars plans to launch a well-equipped EX90 at under USD 80,000 and commence deliveries in early 2024. The Swedish automaker is undercutting rivals like the BMW iX (USD 84,100 onwards) and the Tesla Model X (USD 109,990 onwards) by a wide margin.
Future Volvo electric car models
Volvo Cars has confirmed the launch of five new EVs to its North and South American dealers, as per a report from Automotive News. The company expects to sell around 20,000 units of the Volvo EX90, the inaugural model, in 2023.
Another future Volvo EV will reportedly be an electric crossover with the project name Volvo V546. Volvo Cars will position it, from 2025, between the XC60 and XC90 as the Volvo XC70 EV equivalent. The company expects to sell about 100,000 units of the model, the production of which will take place in the U.S. and China. An all-electric replacement for the Volvo XC60 (Volvo EX60) and a new EV positioned below the XC40 (Volvo EX30) are also in the pipeline. The company is reportedly developing a sedan/cross coupe, while an all-electric Volvo minivan is also gearing up for the Chinese market.
The Volvo EX90 looks to be a well-thought-out family car from Europe, offering many new advanced safety and driver assistance features, strong performance, low energy consumption, long range, and plenty of connectivity features, all in a way Americans generally like: with superb comfort and spacious three-row seating.
Volvo EX90 FAQs
What is the Volvo EX90 release date?
The new Volvo electric SUV will reach dealers in America in early 2024.
What is the expected Volvo EX90 price?
Volvo Cars says it’ll have a well-equipped EX90 at under USD 80,000.
Which are the probable Volvo EX90 competitors?
Audi Q8 e-tron, Mercedes EQE SUV & BMW iX are the rivals of the Volvo EX90, but none of them offer three-row seating.
Images in the story are courtesy of Volvo Cars.