Harry Leahey

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Volvo has officially taken the wraps off its fully electric EX90 flagship - the brand’s successor to the XC90 SUV, and will enter production towards the end of 2023. 

With its "Thor hammer" headlights and large profile, it looks similar to its predecessor, but beneath the skin of the EX90 is a totally different car, adopting the same pure-electric SPA2 platform as the Polestar 3 unveiled last month, but with two dual-motor powertrains available. 

For the base Twin Motor version, the dual motors collectively produce 402bhp and 777 Nm of torque, which is enough to launch this 2,818kg seven seater from 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds. 

It is powered by a 107kWh battery, and is claimed to deliver a range of 364 miles on a full charge. Volvo says a top up from 10 to 80 percent takes 30 minutes thanks to 250Kw fast DC charging compatibility.

The more potent Twin Motor Performance model makes 510bhp and 910 Nm of torque, resulting in a whole second off the 0-62mph time. It utilises the same sized battery, but with a slightly shorter 360-mile range. 

Despite the extra power on tap, both variants of the EX90 have a limited top speed of 112mph.  

Though still under development, both versions support bi-directional charging, which enables the EX90 to store electricity which can then be exported back into a home or used to power an external electrical device - useful during peak times when energy is at its most costly. 

The system could also help replenish the batteries of other electric Volvos, and in "select markets", even sell energy back into the grid when demand is high

For on-board tech, the new EX90 is packed with the latest safety features, such as a new Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) system, which uses advanced laser lights to scan objects ahead of the car’s path. 

Volvo claims with LIDAR onboard, the EX90 can detect pedestrians up to 250 metres away, while a tyre lying on the road for example can be detected from up to 120 metres away. 

The technology is said to reduce accidents with severe outcomes by 20 percent, with overall avoidance of collisions reduced by nine percent.

Additional on-board tech includes five raiders, eight cameras, and up to 16 ultrasonic sensors which collectively enable semi-autonomous adaptive cruise control. Pedestrian detection and lane keep assist are also available. 

Road information captured by the above tech is processed in real time by an onboard computer from Nvidia. 

Inside the EX90 is a minimalist cabin which is dominated by a spacious 14.5-inch touch screen. It displays Google’s native Android Automotive infotainment system, and runs on computing power from Snapdragon for quick and lag-free navigation. It includes popular, pre-installed applications such as Google Maps, Play Store as well as the voice-activated Google Assistant feature. 

For those with iPhones, the EX90 also supports Apple Carplay functionality. 

The EX90 will also be the first car from Volvo to use on-screen graphics powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine - a video game and software developer responsible for some of the world’s biggest blockbuster titles.  

On the dash is a floating digital instrument cluster which displays a dedicated contextual bar - included to provide the driver with suggestions based on the current driving situation. 

Volvo says the EX90 will benefit from over the air software updates to improve on-board features throughout its lifecycle. 

A smartphone can be used to unlock the car, and to adjust its schedule for home charging. 

For the UK market, the EX90 will launch in the Ultra spec trim level, which includes the LIDAR system, a high end speaker system from Bowers & Wilkins, as well as recycled fabric upholstery and a panoramic sunroof. 

It rides on air suspension and 22-inch wheels, while standard interior features include soft closing doors, a four-zone climate control system and a cabin air purifier. 

It is projected to cost £96,225 with the standard Twin Motor setup, and £100,555 for the Twin Motor Performance model. The car can also be had via the company’s Care by Volvo all-in-one subscription service, starting from £1,599 per month.

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Harry Leahey 29/12/22