Spoiler alert! Volvo previews new small SUV during EX90 launch

10 Nov 2022

Volvo has only just revealed the massive new EX90 electric SUV – and it’s already teased a new small machine that will follow next year.

The Swedish firm is making a major push to become a full electric brand by 2030, and as part of that has vowed to reveal at least one electric car per year for the next five years. The EX90 is actually Volvo’s third EV following the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge – but the first built on a dedicate electric platform.

Volvo EX90 is a super-size, super-smart electric SUV

But what comes next is particularly interesting. In a move reminiscent of those mid-credit sequences at the end of Marvel films that tease a new superhero, at the end of the XC90 reveal in Stockholm Volvo showed a video that teased the machine it plans to reveal in 2023. And much like Marvel superheroes routinely pop up in the films of others, the new model looks set to be a crossover event. Which is to say that it's a small electric crossover model.

That machine is tipped to be the firm’s new entry-level crossover that will sit underneath the existing XC40 in the line-up – so think a rival to the Mercedes-Benz EQA or DS 3 Crossback E-Tense. Various names have been touted based on people looking for various Volvo trademark filings, with suggestions it could be an EX20, an EX30 or EX40. 

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Whatever it’s called, the machine will broach new territory for Volvo by pushing into the premium small car market. Notably, the machine is set to use a new electric platform based on the ‘open source’ SEA architecture from parent firm Geely. That can accept batteries with up to 100kWh of storage, giving a range of 435 miles, and charge at speeds of up to 360kW.

The SEA platform is also heavily software-focused with the ability to offer services on demand and over-the-air updates. While Volvo boss Jim Rowan would not be drawn on the new model at the launch of the EX90 he did note that the firm was working on “another platform that takes us into full core computing and takes us into lower cost”, noting that it could help achieve price parity between EVs and combustion-engined models.

Rowan also hinted that the new model would target a much younger audience than is usual for Volvo, aiming at an urban-focused ‘Gen Z’ demographic. He hinted that would mean a heavy focus on online sales and offering it on monthly subscription packages through the Care by Volvo service, helping to remove potential barriers to entry for younger buyers.

Volvo bosses wouldn’t be drawn on what models would follow the EX90 and the 2023 small SUV. Last year, the firm previewed a ‘mid-decade electric portfolio’ that featured seven models, including the forthcoming smaller machine.

At the EX90 launch Rowan added that firm’s line-up would remain “tight”, saying “we’ll look after the demographic that we think makes sense.”

There have been questions over the future of Volvo’s estate and saloon line-up. Sales of its combustion-engined versions have dipped in recent years due to the popularity of SUVs. But while the firm’s early EV efforts are focused on higher-riding models, Rowan hinted that electric versions of saloons and estates could come – eventually.

“Suffice to say we play across all the spectrums and range, and we have customers who require different vehicles, and different uses for vehicles,” he said. “We’ll try and make sure that we can capture as much of that as we possibly can.

“We’ve teased what’s coming next, and we’d already signalled we’d do a smaller SUV. Then different formats, saloons and estates or whatever, we’ll get to that when we get to that.”


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