Volvo EX90 brings electrification to the upper end of the Volvo range

A full-sized seven-seater, the all-new Volvo EX90 is the Swedish company’s safest and most sophisticated SUV to date

Volvo EX90 from above
(Image credit: Volvo)

When it launched the original XC90 back in 2002, Volvo started the slow process of extricating itself from its long-standing association with estate cars. A Volvo wagon has been synonymous with a certain style of no-nonsense, Western-centric conventional family life since the early 1970s, but the XC90 pointed the way towards an SUV-led future.

Volvo EX90 SUV from side and rear

(Image credit: Volvo)

Volvo EX90: a fully electric SUV

This is the new Volvo EX90, the direct descendant of that debut Volvo SUV, and the first ‘90’ model to be fully electrified. In all honesty, it bears a striking resemblance to the model it replaces, the current-generation Volvo XC90, with similar stance, scale, and proportions. The difference is in the details, and – of course – the new electrified power train.

Volvo EX90 electric SUV with loaded open boot

(Image credit: Volvo)

The EX90 represents several new strands to Volvo’s thinking about mobility, not least the ownership experience. For a start, you can subscribe to the car, rather than own or lease it. Managing the power and battery level is made easier by the accompanying smartphone app, and Volvo is emphasising the connectivity between your infotainment and information systems at home and on the road.

Volvo EX90 electric SUV in the distance

(Image credit: Volvo)

Volvo has cleverly taken some of the best bits of other manufacturers’ EV offerings and repackaged them with an environmental and wellness spin. The company is offering a bi-directional wall box that can receive power from the car as well as charge it, ensuring you make the most of every last kilowatt (available in certain markets only).

Volvo EX90 interior with dashboard and touch-screen

(Image credit: Volvo)

Perhaps surprisingly, the Swedish safety specialists have gone all out on touch-screen displays, with a large portrait-orientated 15in centre screen that offers up an impressive spread of Google navigation and entertainment. It’s paired with a smaller display behind the steering wheel for vital driving information.

Car interior with touch-screen display

(Image credit: Volvo)

The Bowers & Wilkins audio system includes a 25-speaker Dolby Atmos-equipped stereo, and there’s the ability to use your phone as a car key. Integration with Google Home is also included, allowing you to use your digital assistant to find out battery charge, or heat or cool the car using your voice.

Speaker and microphone detail inside electric Volvo

(Image credit: Volvo)

The sheer scale of the EX90 allows for a big battery pack with a c600km range. Safety is subtly integrated but more all-seeing than ever before, with cameras, radars and lidar powered by Nvidia Drive to keep a constant electronic eye on the world around you. Volvo claims the system can see small objects ‘hundreds of metres ahead’, while also monitoring the driver’s concentration levels and even bring the car to a safe stop if you should nod off behind the wheel.

Front side view of Volvo EX90 beside expanse of water

(Image credit: Volvo)

This large SUV also gives Volvo an opportunity to use as much recycled material as possible – 15 per cent of the steel is recycled, as is 25 per cent of the aluminium, alongside nearly 50kg of recycled plastics.

Volvo from above on concrete surface beside rocks

(Image credit: Volvo)

Externally, the EX90 continues the minimal visual trend of recent Volvos, most especially the electric C40 Recharge with the diagonal-slash radiator grille now an abstract shape in the centre of a bluff, smooth front end. Even the ‘shoulder’ detail at the D-pillar has been pared back; there’s no longer a ribbon of taillights integrating the glasshouse with the main body of the car.

Front car seats with headrests beneath glass sunroof

(Image credit: Volvo)

A large panoramic glass roof brings light into the spacious seven-seater interior, with the option of non-leather upholstery part of Volvo’s commitment to extracting every last drop of sustainable credibility out of its suppliers. 

The upper end of the EV market just got a new challenger.  

Volvo EX90, price tbc,

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.