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New Volvo EM90 is electric luxury MPV with 458-mile range

Volvo EM90 front three quarters dynamic
Volvo EM90 front three quarters dynamic

Volvo EM90 is based on sibling brand Zeekr's 009

The new Volvo EM90 is a luxurious electric MPV that aims to provide a "comfortable living room experience" and touts more than 450 miles of range.

The third new Volvo to be revealed in the last 12 months, following the EX90 SUV and EX30 crossover, the EM90 is a technically advanced and highly specified rival to the likes of the Lexus LM and Mercedes V-Class.

Designed primarily for the Chinese market (where it is now available to pre-order), the EM90 is based on sibling brand Zeekr's 009 MPV, but has its own interior and exterior design that brings it into line with Volvo's line-up.

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Volvo notes that while the MPV segment is "a new one for us", the EM90 embodies the 'concept of versatility' that has been a hallmark of its range since it was founded 70 years ago - highlighting the 1953 Duett estate as a spiritual forebear.

The EM90's exterior was revealed last month in a series of images published online by the Chinese Ministry for Information and Technology, but Volvo has now shown the interior in full for the first time and released official technical specifications.

It is equipped with a 116kWh battery giving a range of 458 miles on China's CLTC testing cycle, and capable of being charged from 10-80% capacity in less than 30 minutes. That powers a 268bhp motor on the rear axle, which takes the EM90 from 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds.

Volvo has not said whether it will make the EM90 available with the Zeekr 009's top-rung twin-motor powertrain, which doubles the power output and effectively halves the 0-62mph time.

The prevailing priorities for the EM90 are opulence and rolling refinement, to which end it is equipped with "top-notch sound isolation and road noise cancellation technology", together with dual-chamber air suspension and what Volvo calls 'silent' tyres.

The EM90 launches as a six-seater, with a pair of armchair-style lounge seats in the middle row and a more conventional pair behind.

The middle-row seats can slide forwards and backwards, recline electrically, and are heated and ventilated. They come with folding tray tables and individual haptic control panels for the climate control and various other functions, and a 15.6in screen that folds down from the ceiling can host streaming platforms, phone mirroring and meetings.

Volvo emphasises the advanced functionality of the EM90's voice assistant, and says that with one command, "you can easily turn the interior of the EM90 into a theatre, a meeting room or a bedroom for the rear seats. Screens, seats, windows, air-conditioner and lighting will all be adjusted accordingly".

The front of the cabin is more familiar from other new Volvo models, with a minimalist dashboard hosting a 15.4in infotainment screen and a separate driver display interface, and only a small selection of physical controls on the steering wheel and centre console.

Volvo has not said where else the EM90 could be sold, but that it is "coming first" to China. It notes that the Duett was particularly popular in the US and Scandinavia.

The brand's line-up in the UK recently went SUV-only with the removal of all its estates and saloons from the market, and the brand has given no indication that it plans to bring the EM90 here. Notably, though, its closest rival, the Lexus LM, has quickly proved a success in the UK – clocking up 170 orders ahead of its arrival and looking on track for another 300 in 2024 – possibly demonstrating the market viability of high-end people carriers in the vein of the EM90.

In a post on social media, Volvo said it will "look into the demand of MPVs around the world before launching in other markets".

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