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Volvo unveils bespoke EX90 electric SUV as ‘the safest vehicle it has ever produced’

During a global livestream event from Sweden today, Volvo Cars has officially unveiled its upcoming EX90 SUV, sharing a myriad of safety features, advanced technologies, and sustainable materials that combine within this bespoke EV. Volvo also teased a second model coming next year, but more on that later. There’s lots to explore here, so let’s dig in.

Background of the Volvo EX90

We first started covering the Volvo EX90 when the automaker began teasing it in September, touting the upcoming SUV’s capabilities as “an invisible shield of safety.” As a successor to the super popular XC90, Volvo has explained that this new bespoke SUV kicks off a new generation of vehicles for the brand as it looks to become offer an entirely-electric lineup by 2030 and become entirely carbon neutral a decade after that.

Volvo promised the EX90 would come standard with a slew of safety features and in-house designed technologies, in addition to other components from trusted companies like Google and NVIDIA. What first enticed us to learn more about the EX90 is its LiDAR sensors built into its exterior, again standard instead of as an upsell to potential customers.

In early October, we learned that the EX90 will arrive as Volvo’s first vehicle with bi-directional charging capabilities, part of a holistic energy management system the company will soon offer to help consumers utilize their vehicle to alleviate grid dependency and ensure backup power during emergencies.

Following an official unveiling today, we’ve learned a helluva lot more about the EX90 SUV. As a representation of Volvo’s targeted future, this is a wonderful starter. Have a look.

EX90 demonstrates the Volvo’s future as electric brand

There are plenty in minute details in both press releases from Volvo, but we recommend watching the video unveiling below to get the full picture, because there is A LOT of new stuff being introduced by by the automaker within this electric SUV.

Unlike Volvo’s previous EVs that were essentially combustion models converted for the electric age, the EX90 will arrive as an entirely new breed of EV for the brand – software defined, sustainable, and safe for a family lifestyle. It sits atop an entirely bespoke platform, complete with new electric motors, inverters, and a battery management system.

Company CEO Jim Rowan explained that the EX90 demonstrates the future Volvo will stand for as it relates to safety, technology, sustainability, and design. Speaking of design, let’s start with that exterior.

Aside from more of a sleeker, streamlined look compared to previous models, the EX90 has two key features worth pointing out. First is its Luminar LiDAR system, implemented front and center in the roof line above the windshield (image above). The system is able to see 250 meters ahead in complete darkness. The LiDAR is also supported by 16 ultrasonic sensors, 8 cameras, and 5 radar systems – all standard.

Second is the redesigned headlamps that deliver a new spin on Volvo’s unmistakable “Thor’s hammer” design. Have a look.

By removing the front grill because, well, its obsolete, Volvo wanted to ensure the face of its future models was still recognizable, hence where the new headlamps come in. These high-definition 1.3 megapixel lights open from the hammer shape for daylight driving, to the stronger night lamps.

The Volvo team said it also offers an anthropomorphism to the face of the EX90, as sort of a blinking or eye opening motion. There are also come cool new light features in the interior, so let’s move inward.

Glowing wood interior and more safety features

Inside the cabin, future EX90 owners will find evidence Volvo’s aforementioned focus on safety, sustainability, and design. Materials in the carpets, seats, and headliners come from recycled materials, while still offering a look of quality. During the day, the dash panels and doors house Scandinavian wood, but as the sun sets, light emerges from within – an entirely new Volvo design feature debuting on the EX90.

Volvo EX90

The EX90’s dash houses a 14.5-inch center screen with Google and 5G connectivity built-in, alongside capabilities for wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and over-the-air updates. The SUV will also arrive as the first Volvo to feature Dolby Atmos sound via a 25 speaker system from Bowers and Wilkins.

The driver’s side features its own smaller display above the steering wheel, as well as two cameras that combine with “unique Volvo technology software and algorithms” to monitor the driver’s state of being. This includes drowsiness, distraction, intoxication, and illness. Per the release:

It’ll alert you, first softly nudging, then more insistent. And if the unthinkable happens, and you fall asleep or are taken ill while driving, the Volvo EX90 is designed to safely stop and call for help.

Other specs and teaser of a new model in 2023?

Today’s unveiling was more focused on the design elements of the Volvo EX90, so we are sure to learn more about its performance (and pricing) closer to production. That said, here are some other pertinent specs to share:

  • Up to 600 km (~373 mi) range on a single charge (WLTP standards)
  • Can charge from 10-80% in under 30 minutes
  • Dual motor version will be powered by an 111 kWh battery to start
    • 517 horsepower (380 kW) and 910 Nm of torque
  • Bi-directional charging capabilities including Plug & Charge

Last but not least, Volvo capped off the EX90 presentation with a little teaser of things to come. A video showed the EX90 sitting by its lonesome when the lights start to flicker. Suddenly, a second, smaller model appears on left as the screen behind flashes “2023.” Check it.

Volvo EX90

Volvo is certainly kicking off a new generation of all-electric vehicle with the EX90, and appears to be soon following up with a more compact sibling very soon. We will keep tabs on that and ensure you’re informed as well. In the meantime, we recommend checking out the full Volvo EX90 unveiling below.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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