The Volvo EX90 is a powerful computer that also happens to be an impeccably designed electric vehicle

The Volvo EX90 is a powerful computer that also happens to be an impeccably designed electric vehicle

After months of teasing, Volvo has lifted the curtain on its new flagship EV, the 2024 EX90 SUV, a luxury seven-seater family mover with 300 miles of range, a starting price of under $80,000 and a whole series of futuristic features, including long-range lidar, two-way charging and on-board sensors that can detect when a driver may be distracted or intoxicated.

When it goes on sale in 2023, the EX90 will launch Volvo’s effort to switch to electric-only vehicle sales, which the Swedish automaker has said it will achieve by 2030. But the electric SUV is also intended to show Volvo’s growing reliance on technology to boost its reputation for safety. And this technology is provided by a group of leading companies – Nvidia, Luminar and Qualcomm, among others – who aim to turn modern cars into powerful computers.

The EX90 will launch Volvo’s effort to switch to electric-only vehicle sales

The forerunner of the EX90 is the Concept Recharge, which was unveiled last year as a “manifesto” for Volvo’s future. The vehicle featured carriage-style doors that opened to a spacious interior, where the lack of an internal combustion engine meant more space for the driver and passengers. And while the car’s doors have been left on the cutting room floor, Volvo insists the EX90 represents a “new era” for the company.

Volvo EX90 from the rear

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And of course, the inclusion of “90” in EX90 is meant to evoke the XC90, the automaker’s popular full-size SUV that was named SUV of the Year by Engine trend when it was first released in 2015.

The EX90 is built on the all-new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA2), which will also underpin the Polestar 3 SUV. (Polestar is jointly owned by Volvo and its Chinese parent company, Geely.) Volvo’s two previous electric vehicles launched in the US, the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge, are both built on the five-year-old Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which was co-developed with Geely.

The new SPA2 architecture allows for a larger battery, more powerful motors, and other exciting improvements, like faster charging and bi-directional charging. The first version of the EX90 to go on sale in 2023 will feature a dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain powered by a 111 kWh battery and two permanent-magnet electric motors delivering 370 kW (496 horsepower) and 671 lb-ft. of torque.

Volvo EX90 Refill

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Volvo EX90 front end

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The EX90’s sensor array includes eight cameras, five radars, 16 ultrasonic sensors and a roof-mounted lidar sensor. The lidar, which stands for “light detection and ranging”, will help the driver avoid external obstacles, while two cameras inside the vehicle will monitor the behavior of the driver’s eyes to determine whether they are attentive or distracted. it is altered.

Depending on the driver’s attention, the EX90 will be able to intervene if necessary

Depending on the driver’s attention, the EX90 will be able to intervene if necessary. If the driver is distracted, the cameras will pick it up and the vehicle will issue a series of warnings designed to bring attention back to the road. If the driver still does not respond, the vehicle will begin to slow down, eventually coming to a complete stop on the side of the road and activating the hazard warning lights.

Volvo is one of the few automakers to include the high-powered laser sensor, calling it an essential ingredient in its quest to completely eliminate road fatalities. The EX90’s lidar will have a range of 250 meters with the ability to detect something as small and dark as a tire on a black road 120 meters ahead, while driving at highway speeds.

The EX90 will also be the first model to feature Volvo’s new Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), Ride Pilot, which will allow the vehicle to drive itself without driver input on the highway. Volvo officials said Ride Pilot will not require drivers to monitor the road when activated. The feature will go live in California as a subscription service, pending approval from state regulators.

The SUV will run on Nvidia’s Drive computing platform, processing sensor data to feed into the vehicle’s ADAS. In addition to Luminar’s lidar, Volvo’s Ride Pilot system will be powered by software developed by Zenseact, a Volvo subsidiary that worked alongside the automaker’s own engineering team. Luminar, which is based in Florida, worked closely with the Zenseact team in Sweden on comprehensive self-driving software for production vehicles.

Volvo EX90 interior

The EX90 will also feature two-way charging capabilities with enough battery capacity to power a customer’s home, Volvo says. Customers in “selected markets” will be able to use the car’s lithium-ion battery to power their home and portable devices, as well as sell power back to the grid.

The infotainment system, meanwhile, will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Cockpit platform, which Volvo says will deliver “blazing-fast computing power and high-quality graphics on the in-car screens and head-up display.” “. (Hope the quality isn’t too high, though; drivers should still pay attention to the road.) And on top of all that, the EX90 will continue to run Google’s native Android Automotive, which includes Google Voice-activated assistant, native Google Maps, Play Store and other useful features.

The EX90 will be Volvo’s first vehicle to feature graphics powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine. These graphics will be displayed on the vehicle’s 15-inch portrait-style touchscreen. And if Android isn’t your thing, wireless Apple CarPlay will also be available.

Bad news for button lovers: there are none. That’s not entirely surprising, though, given the absence of most physical knobs and buttons from the XC90’s current interior. Other than that, the interior of the EX90 looks like it belongs in an Ikea (in a good way). It has that fresh form language we see in countless starter apartments – clean lines, balanced proportions. Most will attribute the minimalism to Tesla, but Volvo has relied on these designs for years.

Flashing Volvo Headlight GIF

Another change from the XC90 is the instrument cluster, which is now a much smaller, livelier display that isn’t shaded from above at all. It’s another floating screen, reflecting another popular industry trend for instrument clusters. But Volvo is different from most other digital gauge clusters you’ll find in other vehicles. On the screen, a special pop-up bar will give suggestions to the driver, depending on the driving situation. And that will change when the car enters Ride Pilot, which enables hands-free, unattended driving.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Volvo if it didn’t include some quirky design choices. Look no further than Thor’s hammer-shaped headlights, which appear to have borrowed some of the pixelated squares from the Hyundai Ioniq 5. The squares open horizontally, revealing the light beams below.

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