Volvo’s electric successor to its flagship SUV, the XC90, will be unveiled in the fourth quarter of 2022. As Volvo’s first EV and the first to be built on a completely new platform, the new SUV will play a fundamental role in the company’s electrification ramp up strategy, whereby the company is targeting to sell 600,000 electric cars annually by 2025.
- XC90 successor will have EV electric and ICE-powered options
- It will be based on the Concept Recharge that was showcased in 2021
- Will be based on Volvo’s new SPA2 platform
Volvo XC90: exterior and interior design
Volvo’s Concept Recharge showed how its new flagship EV will retain the XC90’s core characteristics while introducing a totally new exterior and interior design, as well as a host of advanced features.
Therefore, even though the successor to the XC90 will employ a radically different design, it will continue to devote primary attention to space and practicality. Volvo’s new ‘less is more’ approach demonstrated in this concept highlights its commitment to minimalist design in the new electric age as well as its commitment to reducing environmental impact as much as possible from the well to the wheel of each vehicle.
The Concept’s more outlandish and futuristic features will be reduced for production, such as its four freestanding seats. However, the skateboard-style architecture will offer new levels of interior space and flexibility. To that end, the production car will ditch physical controls for a cleaner and simpler driver environment. As with the XC40 Recharge and Polestar 2, most functions will be controlled by Google’s large-format touchscreen operating system.
Volvo’s next SUV is not easily categorized as an SUV because, although it sits high above the ground and emphasises all-round visibility as the current model does, it has a straighter, two-box silhouette reminiscent of estate cars.
XC90 successor will therefore be positioned at the intersection between two segments, thus capitalizing on the popularity of SUVs while differentiating itself from rivals and avoiding alienating buyers of lower-slung models.
Volvo XC90 replacement: platform and powertrain
XC90 successor will be based on the Concept Recharge version presented in 2021 and will be based on Volvo’s new SPA2 platform. This upgraded version of the current car’s architecture will be capable of incorporating combustion engines as well as pure electric powertrains. It will be the first production car to use the new underpinnings before they are rolled out to other Volvo models and sibling brands owned by parent company Geely Auto.
The SPA2 will have two distinct powertrain configurations, in contrast to the vast majority of mixed-powertrain platforms currently available in the market. This will allow the electric XC90 successor to benefit from a completely flat floor, shortened overhangs and a more overtly cabforward stance, whereas the combustion-engined versions will have slightly more familiar interior proportions, given the need to accommodate an engine, transmission and exhaust system.
Despite Volvo remaining coy about its new car’s powertrain setup, the firm has a well-publicised push to reduce emissions across its range, which means all combustion-powered models will incorporate some form of electrification, whether it is a mild hybrid or a plug-in hybrid. Diesel will not be offered at all.
The electric variant, meanwhile, could usher in entirely new powertrain set-ups distinct from those offered on the CMA-based XC40, C40 and Polestar 2 EVs, while four-wheel drive is highly likely to be standard, given its large SUV billing. Volvo will offer a choice of battery sizes on its new EVs, giving buyers the option of standard and long-range versions, the latter capable of travelling up to 310 miles between charges.
Volvo XC90 replacement to come by late 2022
Sweden’s Volvo Cars reported a dramatic drop in profits for the first quarter of 2022 as a result of the supply chain crisis, rising material costs, and factory shutdowns. However, the automaker remains committed to accelerating its electrification plans.
Volvo CEO Jim Rowan has confirmed to our sister publication Autocar UK that the flagship SUV was still on track to arrive in 2022. He said, “We are very much on track. We’ve made commitments that we would be launching a certain number of vehicles every year, and we’ll make the decision on when we release that, but the fourth quarter this year is when we will release more details on that product.”
Following Volvo’s earlier confirmation that the new arrival will take a name, rather than an alphanumeric designation into production, a recent trademark filing suggests it will be called the Embla. Embla was the name of the first woman in Norse mythology, which could signal a naming strategy for future models centred around Volvo’s Scandinavian heritage.
Volvo XC90 replacement for India
Since 2015, Volvo has been selling its second-generation XC90 in the Indian market. Late last year, the 235 horsepower, 2.0 liter diesel engine was replaced with a new 300 horsepower, 2.0 liter mild hybrid turbo-petrol engine. In addition to the new petrol engine, the Volvo XC90 is also available with a plug-in hybrid system. It rivals cars like the Audi Q7, BMW X7, Land Rover Discovery and Mercedes-Benz GLS in the Indian market.
It is too early to predict when we will see a replacement for the Volvo XC90 here in the United States. Volvo is likely to launch the XC90 replacement in India sometime towards the end of 2023.