On November 9, 2022, Volvo Cars unveiled the EX90 all-electric SUV. Initially available with all-wheel drive and seating for 7 people, the EX90 will go on sale stateside in just over a year’s time. While this will be a flagship model, it’s becoming evident that the company has more affordable configurations in mind for the future.
In late 2022, Anders Gustafsson, President and CEO of Volvo USA, told MotorTrend that the company has growth plans for the EX90. Javier Varela, Chief Operating Officer & Deputy CEO of Volvo Cars, added that the company could “take away seats,” when asked about a two-row version. Around new year’s, at a year-end meeting, Volvo Cars confirmed the launch of a comfort-focused ‘Excellence’ version in China (via AutoHome), which could make it to the U.S., too.
Volvo EX90 Excellence
The Volvo EX90 Excellence is likely to offer a sumptuous interior that pampers VIPs and elites who want to maximize their commute time by working or relaxing. The two-row version would feature individual reclining rear seats with massage and heating functions, power-operated cushion extensions, and extra-winged headrests. There may be a refrigerated storage compartment, champagne glasses, wireless chargers, and a digital control panel in the rear center console, making it the most comfy version in the 90 Series.
Volvo Cars could add a further extension to its Excellence model, the Excellence Lounge, at some point in the EV’s lifecycle. We imagine the Volvo EX90 Excellence Lounge with an exclusive three-seat cabin featuring a specially designed lounge console in place of the front passenger seat. The lounge console could consist of a cushioned leg rest with a storage area for shoes, a work table including an illuminated vanity mirror and an entertainment screen, a secured storage box, and more.
Platform & Dimensions
The EX90 is built around Volvo’s SPA or Scalable Product Architecture, which is found in several of the company’s newer models, including the latest XC90 SUV. However, the one underpinning the EX90 is the next-gen iteration of this platform – called SPA2. It’s a dedicated platform meant solely for electric vehicles and will be used in Volvo’s future EV models.
Visually, the EX90 is an evolution of the XC90, though it’s both longer and wider than the latter. Not just that, the electric SUV also offers more practicality. If the five-seat version materializes, it would offer ample cargo space – perhaps in the neighborhood of 36 cu. ft. As for the Excellence trim, the emphasis on using the additional space would be to offer an executive rear that gives rear passengers a first-class experience.
|Dimension||Volvo EX90 Measurement|
|Cargo Space (second- & third-row seats up)||12.9 cu. ft.|
|Cargo Space (third-row seats folded)||35.7 cu. ft.|
|Cargo Space (second- and third-row seats folded)||67.6 cu. ft.|
|Frunk||1.3 cu. ft.|
Design & Interior
In many ways, the EX90’s exterior mimics the XC90’s basic structure – but it looks even more streamlined and contemporary. The entire front looks cleaner, featuring sleeker LED lights that are even brighter, a neatly-carved bumper, and a slightly-lowered hood. Considering factors such as affordability and range, the purported single-motor variant could come with smaller wheels, instead of the 22-inch rims that are currently in use.
The cabin of the EX90 may appear spartan at first, but its smart design and minimalism are key here. Blending sustainable yet high-quality materials & construction, this cabin feels thoroughly upmarket in every way. The fact that it’s a 7-seater only helps EX90’s case as a practical family SUV. We think that a 5-seater variant would allow Volvo to better compartmentalize and offer more stowage or be helpful for those choosing to take a pet along. As it is, a third row will not be practical for smaller families.
Volvo Cars confirmed that all models that are based on the new SPA2 platform, (including the purported 5-seat variant of the EX90), will be equipped with LIDAR, for advanced safety and autonomous capabilities on highways in the future.
LiDAR or Light Detection and Ranging, depending on its location, will allow the beneficiary vehicle to accurately measure distances and see (in 3D) what’s in front of it by using one or more laser modules & receivers. In the case of the Luminar system used in the EX90, the single-laser module is not only cost-effective, but it also has the ability to spot objects up to a distance of 250 meters (820 feet). According to Volvo, LiDAR promises higher levels of safety and works seamlessly in almost any type of weather conditions, no matter the time of day, whilst working in tandem with its Pilot Assist ADAS feature.
The all-wheel drive variant of the EX90 is powered by two permanent-magnet electric motors, capable of producing 496 hp (370 kW) and 671 lb. ft. of torque. A 111 kWh battery means up to 300 miles (of EPA-est.) range while charging the battery from 10 to 80 percent using a 250 kW DC fast charger takes a claimed 30 minutes. This must be representative of the EX90 Excellence (and the potential EX90 Excellence Lounge) as the top-spec model and cannot have compromises.
Should Volvo introduce an EX90 variant with just one electric motor, it will likely spin the rear wheels. In theory, if equipped with the same battery capacity, the EX90 two-wheel drive version could offer substantially more range. With the third row gone, along with the additional electric motor and other related electronics, the car would weigh a lot less, besides reduced load on the battery. The other route is to take away some battery capacity in the interest of a low price.
Price & Release Date
The 2024 Volvo EX90 for the American market will be manufactured at the automaker’s Charleston (Ridgeville) plant in South Carolina. The 7-seater variant of the 2024 EX90 is already available for pre-order in the United States. Customers pre-booking a car will be asked to configure it in Fall 2023, with deliveries in the U.S. expected to begin in early 2024.
The automaker claims that a “well-equipped” EX90 (possibly hinting at the top-end trim) will not exceed USD 80,000. If that’s the case, an entry-level 5-seater variant powered by one motor could be priced much lower, maybe at around USD 65,000. We don’t expect the new variants to be available before 2025.
Meanwhile, the Volvo EX90 Excellence could debut in China in Q2 2023. The U.S. division may want to fly down an example to one of the U.S. auto shows next year, just to get an audience reaction. The company has confirmed Chinese production of the EX90, which is expected to kick off in 2024.
We can expect the new 7-seater Volvo to be wildly successful among those with large families. However, the Swedish product team ought to consider introducing variants in the EX90 line-up to satiate the demand among smaller families, performance lovers, customers with a lower budget, as well as those who seek exclusivity.
That said, the 5-seat version would also be a stop-gap measure for the company, as the EX60 is slated for arrival in 2026. The Excellence version would be the cherry on the top, allowing Volvo Cars’ most esteemed clients to upgrade to a pure electric ride. Nevertheless, having more choices would only make the EX90 a more tempting option for buyers at this end of the premium segment.
Featured image: Volvo Cars