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Home / News / Volvo EX90 is smarter than your average all-electric SUV

Volvo EX90 is smarter than your average all-electric SUV

Safety stays key to Volvo's new top-tier model

Volvo EX90 tracking front

The new Volvo EX90 is a beefy all-electric SUV with seating for seven, riding on an all-new dedicated EV platform and safety at the top of the feature list. There might be a whiff of London taxi about the bulge above the windscreen, but it’s home to Lidar tech that promises to make the EX90 smarter (and hopefully safer) than anything the Swedish firm has produced before.

At 5037mm long this thing is big, and wide too, at 2039mm. A height of 1747mm gives it a more imposing stance than the Volvo XC90 it’ll replace when it hits the road in 2024. A drag coefficient of .29Cd, thanks to lots of smooth surfaces, means it’s rather more aerodynamic.

The big difference is the SPA2 platform the SUV is built on however. It’s the same one being used for the recently unveiled Polestar 3, but in the case of the EX90 you get seven proper seats, which will make it instantly appealing to larger families or for smaller ones who, erm, just don’t get along that well.

There are two electric motors, powered by a beefy 111kWh battery pack that’s good for up to 372 miles of range. It’ll charge at up to 250kW, going from 10% to 80% in a smidgen under 30 minutes if you can tap into a fast charger. The dual motor model will boast a heady 517bhp, but like all new Volvos its top speed will be limited to 112mph. Naturally, being all-electric, the torque on tap should be plentiful, with 910Nm hiding under those delicious lines.

Talking of which, the car is distinct, mainly because of that pronounced Lidar sensor, or laser scanner, which sits in a bulge above the windscreen. This, according to Volvo, is central to making the EX90 smarter and safer than any previous models in its portfolio.

Along with a host of other cameras and sensors, the Volvo EX90 will be able to scan the road ahead and spot objects far and wide. Volvo has collaborated with a raft of tech suppliers to hone the format; with for example, an Nvidia Drive system helping to provide a dynamic 360-degree data feed of the road ahead. Qualcomm is on-board too, supplying its Snapdragon Cockpit to help beef up the arsenal of intelligent tech.

There are many other driver aids too, with Volvo’s Pilot Assistant offering up semi-autonomous driving capabilities. All of this tech is presented to the driver via a cracking twin-screen combination. In front of the steering wheel, the driver gets a slender landscape digital display, which is supplemented by a large, portrait 14.5-inch screen in the centre of the dash.

Central to the usability is Google’s Android Automotive-based system, which means that you get all of the convenience of Google Maps, but there’s also the ability to enjoy Apple CarPlay wirelessly if you wish. A premium-grade model destined for the UK market, called Ultra, should appeal to music fans thanks to a Bowers & Wilkins-tuned 25-speaker sound system with Dolby Atmos.

Volvo also promises an all-new app, which will allow you to operate many of the controls from your phone, along with using your handset to dispense with a traditional key. Great if you’re endlessly losing your car keys; not so great if you constantly do the same with your phone. It’s nice to have the option though, right?

If you’re already a fan of the current Volvo range there’ll be quite a lot that’s familiar about the car, including lots of practicality. There’s loads of space, with a gargantuan 1915 litres available if you put all those rear seats down.

The styling, especially on the inside, is also much more minimalistic in true Scandinavian-style. Volvo has gone the extra mile in a bid to use more recycled materials for its interior. The cockpit shades on offer are very cool too, with greys and whites available alongside conventional black for anyone with messy kids to think about.

The EX90 will feature a range of new Nordico seat trimmings that ditch leather but, based on our touch test, feel every bit as luxurious, resulting in a cumulative 49kg of recycled materials being used on the interior alone. Meanwhile, Volvo is confident that it can become climate-neutral by 2040 and plans to increase its use of recycled materials in the coming years.

Production of the new Volvo EX90 will begin in the US during 2023 followed by China shortly after. Although it’s possible to dip into the Volvo website and start speccing your preferred model, cars will not be delivered to customers until early 2024. Pricing too is likely to change given the current economic situation and timescales involved, but expect to pay just under £100k for an EX90 should it float your boat. Range Rover owners can start cross-shopping right now.

Volvo EX90 tracking side

Volvo might have unveiled the super-sized EX90, but the company also gave a sneak preview of another model to come in the future. With one electric car promised over the next five years, Volvo hasn’t revealed any concrete plans for its next project to follow the EX90.

However, at the end of the Stockholm unveil, the large screen featured something that looked rather like a compact crossover edition of the EX90, which could indicate that an entry-level EV might be on the horizon.

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Rob is a freelance motoring journalist, and contributor to Stuff magazine and Stuff.tv