Volvo has finally shown off the 2023 Volvo EX90, a luxury family SUV with seven seats, a range of 400 miles, a starting price of less than $128,000, and a lot of futuristic features like long-range lidar, bidirectional charging, and sensors that can tell if a driver is distracted or drunk.
Volvo plans to sell entirely electric vehicles (EVs) starting in 2030, and the 2023 release of the Volvo EX90 will mark the beginning of this transformation. Volvo's increased dependence on technology to improve its reputation for safety is another goal of the electrified SUV. And a group of well-known firms, including Nvidia, Luminar, and Qualcomm, are providing the technology needed to turn today's automobiles into mobile supercomputers.
The Concept Recharge, shown last year as a "manifesto" for Volvo's future, is the forerunner to the Volvo EX90. With no internal combustion engine to take up space, the vehicle's carriage-style doors opened up to a spacious cabin for the driver and passengers. Despite eliminating the carriage doors, Volvo is standing by its claim that the Volvo EX90 opens a new epoch for the brand.
The "90" in EX90 refers to Volvo's other successful full-size SUV, the XC90, which debuted in 2015 and was immediately named Motor Trend's SUV of the Year.
The new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA2) is being used to construct the 2023 Volvo EX-90 and will also serve as the foundation for the Polestar 3 SUV (Volvo and Geely, Volvo's parent firm in China, are equal owners of Polestar). The XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge, Volvo's first two electric vehicles available in the United States, are based on the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) that Volvo and Geely developed together five years ago.
The new SPA2 design paves the way for a more extensive battery, more robust motors, and other exciting enhancements, including quicker and bidirectional charging. The first generation of the EX90 will hit the market in 2023 with an all-wheel drive system. It will be powered by a 111 kWh battery and two permanent magnet electric motors that put out 370 kW (496 hp) and 671 lb-ft of torque.
There are twenty-seven sensors on the EX90, including eight cameras, five radars, sixteen ultrasonic sensors, and a lidar sensor on the vehicle's roof. Light detection and ranging (lidar) will help the driver avoid obstructions outside the car. At the same time, two cameras inside will track the driver's eye movements to identify if they are paying attention or perhaps impaired.
Whether or not the EX90 responds to a given situation depends on the driver's focus. The vehicle's cameras will detect any signs of distraction, and the driver will receive a sequence of alerts designed to get their attention back on the road. If the driver doesn't answer after a few seconds, the car will slow down, eventually stopping with its warning lights on.
To achieve its goal of eliminating road fatalities, Volvo is one of the only automakers to include the high-powered laser sensor. The Lidar sensors in the Volvo EX90 have a range of 250 meters and be able to identify something as tiny and dark as a tire on a black road 120 meters ahead, even at high speeds.
The 2023 Volvo EX90 will be the debut vehicle to use Volvo's latest ADAS, Ride Pilot, allowing the car to operate autonomously on the highway with little to no input from the driver. Volvo has stated that while using Ride Pilot, drivers will not need to keep their eyes on the road. If California's government gives the go-ahead, the service will be available to subscribers there.
The electric SUV's advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are powered by sensor data processed by Nvidia's Drive computer platform. Software created by Volvo subsidiary Zenseact, in collaboration with Volvo's in-house engineering team, will power the Ride Pilot system alongside Luminar's lidar. The Zenseact team in Sweden and the Luminar team in Florida have worked together to make full-stack autonomous driving software for mass-produced cars.
Volvo claims that the EX90's battery can power a customer's home and be capable of bidirectional charging. Customers in "certain markets" will be able to use the lithium-ion battery in their cars to power their homes and portable electronics, as well as sell power back to the grid.
In addition, Qualcomm's Snapdragon Cockpit platform will be used for the infotainment system, which Volvo says will offer "lightning-fast computing power and high-quality visuals on the in-car screens and head-up display." (Preferably not too high a grade, though, as drivers must always remain vigilant.) And on top of all that, the EX90 will continue to function with Google's native Android Automotive, which includes voice-activated Google Assistant, native Google Maps, the Play Store, and other essential features.
The EX90 will be the first Volvo to use Epic Games' Unreal Engine for its in-car visuals. Those images will be displayed on the vehicle's 15-inch, portrait-style touchscreen. But if you'd instead use Apple's CarPlay than Android, you can do that wirelessly.
Buttons fans, I have bad news: they're nowhere to be found. Still, this is hardly shocking given the current XC90's lack of conventional controls. Other than that, the EX90's interior could have been lifted straight from Ikea (in a good way). It features the simple, uncluttered design aesthetic of innumerable entry-level houses. Though Tesla may get the credit for the minimalist aesthetic, Volvo has been using similar designs for years.
The instrument cluster is also different from the XC90, with a smaller, dynamic screen replacing the traditional gauge pod and no overhead shading—another instance of the increasingly common floating display found in modern gauge clusters. Volvo's is noticeably different compared to the digital gauge clusters found in most other automobiles. The display will have a contextual bar that, based on the circumstances, will offer the driver advice; when the driver activates Ride Pilot, which enables hands-free and eye-off unsupervised driving, the setting changes accordingly.
It's a Volvo; therefore, there are probably some odd aesthetic decisions. Thor's hammer headlights are pixelated like the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5, hence their "winking" appearance. The squares slide open horizontally to show the glowing light sources underneath.