Volvo has revealed its first minivan, the EM90, targeted at the Chinese market.
The EM90 packs a single electric motor on the rear axle producing 268 hp, while the 116.0-kWh battery provides a 459-mile range on China's test cycle.
The cabin seats six in luxury, with a 21-speaker sound system and screens galore.
It's a bit odd that it took this long for Volvo, purveyors of automotive boxiness, to dabble with the rectangular, family-friendly minivan layout. The new Volvo EM90 leverages the Swedish automaker's position under the Geely corporate umbrella, sharing a platform and powertrain with the electric China-only Zeekr 009 while replacing that car's brutalist look with a smoother, more tranquil design and, of course, a focus on safety.
The EM90 has a chunky resemblance to its Zeekr cousin but features subtler details. Volvo's customary "Thor's hammer" headlights sit high and wide, presiding over a large flat face decorated with ornate LEDs and an illuminated Volvo logo. The rear features vertically oriented taillights and a full-width light bar that includes a lit-up Volvo script, and the EM90 rides on 19- or 20-inch wheels.
Volvo describes the EM90 as a "comfortable living room on the move," so don't expect nimble handling. Unlike the dual-motor 536-hp Zeekr, the EM90 makes do with just one rear-mounted electric motor producing 268 horsepower. This will see the rear-wheel-drive minivan dawdle to 62 mph in a claimed 8.3 seconds, versus the Zeekr's 4.5-second dash.
The Volvo packs a 116.0-kWh battery also found in the Zeekr, although the 009 can be upgraded to a 140.0-kWh unit. Volvo claims a 459-mile range on China's test cycle, an improvement on the Zeekr's 436-mile rating. Volvo claims the EM90 can recharge from 10 to 80 percent in less than half an hour and the battery can be used to provide juice to other cars and electronic accessories.
Ultimately, the EM90 is all about the lounge-like, six-seat cabin. The rear captain's chairs look especially plush and feature fold-out tables, and the overall design is light and airy. The dashboard, doors, and front seatbacks are finished in birch wood panels with an intricate, backlit design and the shifter is made from Orrefors crystal.
A 15.6-inch entertainment screen hangs from the ceiling, supporting a variety of third-party apps and featuring a camera for video calls, while a 21-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system takes care of audio duties. Meanwhile, the driver receives a 15.4-inch infotainment screen and a small display behind the steering wheel, while rear-seat passengers use screens on the doors to control certain functions.
Volvo touts the EM90's sound isolation, with features including noise cancellation technology, specially designed tires, and a dual-chamber air suspension. The panoramic glass roof includes a curtain, while ambient lighting sets the mood with options that are inspired by the Northern lights, Swedish forests, or "the dawn of Midsummer."
Although the EM90 shares a platform with the Zeekr 009, Volvo still aims to incorporate its safety-first mindset. Volvo says a strong structure made of steel and aluminum protects the battery and passengers, while an array of radar and ultrasonic sensors and cameras allow for advanced driver-assistance features.
Volvo says that the EM90 is "coming first to China," unsurprising given the popularity of luxury minivans there. But curiously the statement leaves open the possibility of export, although we'd be surprised to see the EM90 reach U.S. shores. If it does, don't expect it to arrive for several years. Regardless, we hope the EM90's serene, luxurious cabin design makes its way into other future Volvos.
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