Volvo unveils ‘safest car ever’ (EX90)

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After having distilled here and there some information on its EX90, Volvo ended up revealing all the secrets. Now official, the 7-seater SUV, both family and sporty, is packed with technologies ensuring incomparable safety promises the brand.

Successor to the XC40 and C40, it is part of the manufacturer’s 100% electric strategy which, by 2030, will only offer models running on this energy. The EX90 is not only a new model, it is also a vehicle marking Volvo’s intentions in the automotive industry. Now under the control of the Chinese Geely, the brand intends to compete with Tesla, in particular its Model X.

A different SUV

Positioned in the premium segment, the Volvo EX90 stands out from the brand’s previous models. This rolling monster (7 places all the same) is based on a new electric platform and changes lines. The rear is more worked, the brand new grille is full.

These lines give it good aerodynamics. With a drag coefficient of 0.29 Cd, the EX90 is close to the 0.24 Cd of Tesla’s Model X, but above all it does much better than the 0.329 Cd of the XC40.

Important detail: the most affordable model has a panoramic roof as standard. You won’t miss the imposing LiDAR on top of the vehicle either.

Inside, the passenger compartment conforms to what is found at Volvo, with a supplement of modernity. Like Tesla, the manufacturer does not offer animal leather seat finishes. A good point.

Space, there is also in the trunk. With its 655 liters of volume (1040 with the second row folded down and 1915 up to roof height), it should be perfectly suitable for large families. And if there is a small surprise luggage, it will be able to fit in the front trunk of 37 liters.

Family but sporty

Under the hood (so to speak), the EX90 packs a 111 kWh lithium-ion battery made by China’s CATL. It delivers 300 kW in the Recharge Twin version, the equivalent of 408 hp. The Recharge Twin Performance model has a power of 380 kW or 517 hp. This version is also equipped with two motors delivering a torque of 910 Nm (770 Nm for the basic model).

Concretely, despite the weight of the machine (2.8 tons all the same), you will be glued to the seat at each acceleration. This engine allows the EX90 to perform 0 to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds (for the Recharge Twin model) and 4.9 seconds (for the Performance model).

Volvo ensures that its EX90 can travel 560 to 580 km (on a WLTP mixed cycle) and up to 680 km if you are content with city trips. A heat pump is also integrated to withstand journeys in very cold environments.

On the charging side, Volvo announces a full charge in 30 minutes on 250 kW fast terminals and 11 hours of charging from a home AC outlet (up to 11kW). The manufacturer offers “a home energy management offer” including “a two-way wall box and energy management system”. But this system will not be “available initially (only) in certain markets”.

Filled with technology

On the equipment side, Volvo puts the small dishes in the big ones. In the center of the cabin, a 15” floating LCD touch screen (which also works with gloves) serves as the control center of the car. A second 8” floating screen, positioned in front of the driver’s seat, allows the driver to view driving information and the various instruments.

The whole system is running under Android Automotive OS and is powered by chips from Qualcomm. Google services are fully integrated, from Google Assistant to Maps to the Play Store. The EX90 is also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 5G modem is also present, in particular for system updates, music (broadcast over 14 Bose speakers with a power of 940 watts) and a slew of other features.

Above all, Volvo has put the package on driving comfort and safety. So an air suspension lowers the car automatically to reduce air resistance. This improves handling while reducing energy consumption.

Active chassis technology with electronically controlled dampers continuously monitors the car’s behavior, taking into account the road and the driver’s attitude. Then each damper adapts to the driving conditions.

In addition, the EX90 is equipped with a multitude of sensors (ultrasound, cameras, radars and even LiDAR) to ensure more security. Driving aids are also numerous: speed and distance regulator/adaptor, intelligent collision anticipation, lane departure warning, driver vigilance system (if you fall asleep for example), blind spot monitoring, traffic alert in reverse, active brakes when stationary or wire change assistance.

Also note that the EX90, thanks to its LiDAR, is ready for fully autonomous driving (level 3). For the moment, we must be content with level 2 certification, as legislation does not yet allow vehicles to be driven without the driver’s intervention.

Volvo EX90 pricing and availability

The Volvo EX90 will be available from 107,900 euros in the Recharge Twin version and in the Ultra finish. The Performance model will be sold from 113,100 euros. Volvo assures that the “standard” model will trade for less than 100,000 euros.

The Volvo EX90 is guaranteed for 3 years and its battery for 8 years. For comparison, Tesla’s Model X Plaid is offered at 141,990 euros. It is guaranteed for 8 years.

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