With exactly one week to go until the unveiling of the EX90, Volvo’s replacement for the XC90, the Swedish automaker has released a series of new teaser images providing a first glimpse of the newcomer’s exterior.
End of ICE?
Already known to be the initiator of the marque’s new electrically focused Scalable Production Architecture (SPA) platform called SPA2, the clearest depiction of the EX90’s aesthetic comes in the guise of a peek at the front fascia showing a sealed grille that indicates the lack of an internal combustion engine.
A powerunit the EX90 is reportedly unlikely to have as per Volvo’s wholly electric vehicle switch before 2030, the accompanying blurred images shows the retention of the Thor’s Hammer LED headlights, a profile very similar to that of the XC90 and L-shaped LED taillights derived from the XC60.
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Described as a “streamline” appearance akin to that of a yacht, the EX90 also comes with flush door handles in order to improve airflow, with the sighting of the grille appearing similar not only to that of the XC40 P6 Recharge and P8 Recharge, but also the patent images leaked in August.
“If you look at the front, it’s proud and confident – inspired by a sailboat’s ability to shear through the ocean’s slamming waves. But it’s also rounder overall, which enables the air to flow around the car more efficiently,” Volvo’s Head of Design, T. Jon Mayer, said.
In addition to confirming the retention of the seven-seat layout that has become a hallmark of the XC90, Volvo also showcased the innovative LiDAR autonomous driving module.
Projected at the road from inside, the system consists of 16 ultrasonic sensors, eight cameras, five radars and software developed by Volvo the automaker claims can detect pedestrians up to 250 metres way.
Also capable of identifying smaller objects such as tyres on a dark road 120 metres in front at top speed, Mayer stated that system’s integration didn’t come without its challenges.
“It was a design challenge to integrate lidar in a way that both looks good and is optimal for its safety applications,” he said.
“It’s the car’s eyes, and while you could have them around the grille area, which would be equivalent to having eyes on your knees, it makes much more sense to have them as high as possible on your head so you can see as much as possible. That is why, together with our engineers, we decided to integrate it in the roofline to maximise its effectiveness”.
Having already showed the interior by way of dashboard images, Mayer also confirmed the availability of a panoramic glass roof designed so as to allow as much warm light into cabin as possible during the dark winter months of Scandinavia.
“We’ve put a lot of effort into the illumination inside the EX90, trying to create a warm interior and a somewhat colder expression for the exterior,” Mayer remarked.
“It’s also connected to how people in Scandinavia might be perceived. There’s a calm and understated confidence that can read as cold at first, but once you get to know people, you find that they’re really warm. That confidence is exactly what we’re trying to convey in the expression of our cars”.
Allegedly on track to be the eclipse the outgoing XC90 T8 Recharge for the title of most powerful production Volvo ever made, chances are that more images and details could be divulged before the wraps come off on 9 November.
For more on the XC90 in South Africa, click here.