All-new, all-electric EM90 revealed as Volvo’s first MPV
For now, plans to sell the EM90 outside China won't happen within the next 12 months.
EM90 has dramatically restyled from the model on which it is based, the Zeekr 009. Image: Volvo
Announced back in August as becoming a reality three months later, Volvo officially unveiled its first ever MPV, the EM90, at a special showing in China this past Sunday (12 November).
The Zeekr effect
The Swedish brand’s biggest non-commercial vehicle ever made, an accolade held until now by the EX90 and before that, the XC90, the EM90 is based on sister brand Zeekr’s 009 that went on-sale in the People’s Republic earlier this year.
Officially also the most expensive Volvo to go into production, the EM90, which will rival not only the 009, but also segment heavyweights such as the Mercedes-Benz V-Class, Denza D9, Lexus LM and LDV Maxus G90 and class dominating Buick GL8, derives motivation from an electric powertrain only offered by the Denza and by extension, its sibling.
In a departure from the Zeekr though, the EM90 receives a unique sealed grille plus a restyled take on the trademark Thor’s Hammer LED headlights, a new front bumper and side air vents, and a choice of Volvo specific 19 or 20-inch aero alloy wheels.
At the rear, the changes have been less dramatic and comprise H-shaped vertical light clusters compared to the 009’s horizonal items, and the Volvo name spelt-out on the central logo bar.
Providing seating for six as standard, the EM90 becomes the first current Volvo not to ride on the Scalable Production Architecture (SPA2), but rather Zeekr’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) used by all of its current products.
While no details surrounding the EM90’s dimensions were disclosed, expectations are it won’t differ from the 009’s, whose overall length stretches 5 209 mm and wheelbase 3 205 mm. The claimed width is 2 024 mm and height 1 867 mm with a dual-chamber air suspension being standard.
Bar the Volvo badge on the steering wheel, the EM90’s interior is largely carried over from the 009, with the only other exception being the speaker on the dashboard that discloses the identity of the 21-speaker, 2 460-watt Bowers & Wilkins sound system.
Providing seating in a 2+2+2 configuration, rear passengers not only have access to a 15.6-inch retractable display, but also heating and ventilation, the ability of having chairs swivelled in order to create what Volvo calls a meeting roof setup, and a standard panoramic glass roof.
Beside the captain’s chair-style, the third rows receive their own flip-out table, separate electronic adjustment panel and ability to recline in an ottoman fashion.
At the front, Volvo only confirmed the inclusion of an eight-inch freestanding digital instrument cluster as well as a 15.4-inch infotainment system with 5G, over-the-air updates and Apple CarPlay, while safety comes courtesy of a series of ultra-sonic radars, cameras and sensors little was revealed of.
Just under 1 000 km on a charge
On the power front, and most likely done deliberately so as not to impact on Zeekr’s sales, the RM90 derives motivation from a smaller 116-kWh battery pack driving a 200 kW electric motor mounted on the rear axle.
Although Volvo declined to provide power and torque figures, both not expected to come close to the 400kW/686Nm made by the all-wheel-drive 009, the rear-wheel-drive RM90 will still get from 0-100 km/h in 8.3 seconds, despite weighing 2 763 kg, and travel 738 km on a single charge.
For China only
Now available for ordering in China with deliveries expected before year-end, the EM90 carries a sticker price of 818 000 yuan (R2 133 211), the most of any Volvo as mentioned, but won’t be exported outside of China until at least the next 12 months.