Volvo is working on an electric successor to its popular XC90, and on Wednesday the automaker provided the first details and confirmed the vehicle’s debut for Nov. 9.
The new SUV will go by the name EX90, and will ride on a next-generation version of the SPA platform found under the XC90, aptly dubbed SPA2. The platform has been developed from the onset for electric vehicles, though it can support internal-combustion engines in hybrid configuration.
The EX90 will feature a roof-mounted lidar sensor, along with eight cameras, five radar sensors, and 16 ultrasonic sensors. The combination, together with Volvo’s own driver-assist features, could reduce accidents causing serious injury or death by up to 20%, and overall accidents by up to 9%, according to Volvo.
As a further measure to help minimize the chance of an accident, a driver monitor will look for signs of distraction. The EX90 has also been designed to come to a safe stop should the driver fall ill or asleep.
Volvo has also confirmed a high level of self-driving capability. The EX90 will eventually offer a feature called Ride Pilot, which will enable true hands-off, eyes-off travel on certain highways. Timing for Ride Pilot isn’t clear, though the first market has been confirmed as California.
Teaser shots and video point to a similar exterior design to the XC90, something backed up by patent drawings filed by Volvo with the European Union Intellectual Protection Office in July. The patents showed an SUV that appears lower and longer than the XC90.
The EX90 is expected to start sales in 2023. Production for North America and other markets will be handled at Volvo’s plant near Charleston, South Carolina. The plant currently churns out the S60 sedan for worldwide sale but from next year will also be responsible for the EX90 and a related Polestar 3 SUV.
Despite the impending arrival of the EX90, the XC90 is still selling near record levels for the nameplate. Last year Volvo managed to sell 38,657 examples in the U.S., which is the highest level for the current-generation XC90 and the second highest in the nameplate’s history. As a result, the XC90 is expected to stay on sale for a period after the EX90 arrives.
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