Volvo has caught us by surprise with the unveiling of its first-ever attempt at a large, premium and comfortable people mover, in the form of the battery-electric EM90 MPV.
Look a little bit closer, though, and you’ll see that the EM90 is not in fact a thoroughbred Volvo, instead, it rides on a platform borrowed from the Chinese, Geely-owned Zeekr 009. Putting its skeleton to the side, the EM90’s styling package adopts Volvo’s typically sleek design language at the front and side profiles.
The front end picks up a set of Volvo’s distinctive ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights flanking an illuminated front logo – a first for a Volvo vehicle – and a scattered array of design elements across the front grille.The rear end features more illumination for the badge, a vertical set of tail lights running their way up the boot with some metallic contrasts thrown in for good measure.
More significant than the styling package, though, is what’s lurking underneath, with Volvo installing a large 116kWh battery pack that is said to offer 738km of driving per charge, on the CLTC test cycle.
Power comes supplied by a single electric motor producing 200kW of power, while the battery pack itself can be DC fast-charged from 0-80 per cent in a claimed 30 minutes and offers bi-directional charging.It comes riding on a set of 19-inch aero alloys as standard, though it can be optioned with a set of 20-inch rims, while dual-chamber air suspension helps to keep things comfortable while you’re on the move.
Inside, the massive platform allows for seating for six people and comes packed to the brim with clever designs and smart tech to keep those seated inside the cabin as comfortable as possible.
The seating layout effectively positions three rows of captain’s chairs throughout the cabin, each of which picks up seat heating and ventilation, adjustable massage settings and a table to keep you working on the go.There’s also a pair of panoramic sunroofs throughout the cabin, with the rearmost sunroof picking up a set of curtains and specific ambient lighting settings.
On the tech front, the EM90 picks up a digital instrument cluster, a 15.4-inch infotainment display smack bang on the dashboard and another 15.6-inch display that folds down from the roofline – the latter of which features inbuilt cameras and mics so you can hop into a Zoom meeting on the run.
Data for the infotainment system is crunched by a high-powered Snapdragon Cockpit Platform that features 5G connectivity, over-the-air software updates and remote functions via the Volvo Cars app.Other notable tech additions include the voice assistant, ‘theatre’ mode that can transform the rear of the cabin from a meeting room into a bedroom, 21-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system and an active noise cancellation system set to be rolled out via a software patch in the future.
In terms of its release, Volvo says that the EM90 is set to hit the Chinese market first, with pre-orders now open, though is yet to confirm a timeline for global deliveries and a potential Australian arrival.“The Volvo EM90 is a supremely comfortable electric car with a smart cabin, fast charging, a competitive driving range, Volvo’s unique design language and a high level of premium in every detail,” says Volvo’s CEO, Jim Rowan.
“A place to connect with your loved ones, to truly be yourself. It’s this feeling of home that inspired our new EM90, a car with room for life,” he added.