Volvo’s electric EM90 launches in China: is it the ultimate MPV? | CAR Magazine

Volvo’s electric EM90 launches in China: is it the ultimate MPV?

Published: 12 November 2023 Updated: 12 November 2023

► Volvo’s launched an EV people carrier
► Full details of electric EM90 MPV
► For the Chinese market first, elsewhere TBC

Volvo’s keeping the MPV people carrier flame alive with its new EM90 people carrier, officially revealed for the Chinese market.

It certainly was an odd announcement when Volvo said it would enter the MPV market earlier in 2023, but the Swedish brand says it’ll bring ‘a new standard of style to the MPV segment.’ It, like some other car makers, has noticed a growing demand for such large and opulent MPV models; it wasn’t long ago that Lexus launched the LM to cater to the same market.

The new EM90 likely shares an awful lot with the very cyberpunk Zeekr 09 – also only available in China. But, happily, the EM90 still looks like a Volvo. The EM90 features its own version of the brand’s classic Thor’s Hammer headlight design at the front of the rather boxy shape. On top of that, Volvo says an illuminated logo makes an entrance here – a first for the brand. At the back, Volvo says the EM90’s rear light signature is ‘inspired by the skyline of modern cities.’ Right…

Naturally, though, the focus is on the interior and its space for many occupants. Volvo says its new EM90 is designed to be a living room on wheels, with CEO Jim Rowan adding that it’s ‘a car with room for life.’ The MPV features ‘top-notch’ sound insulation and road noise cancellation technologies (available soon via a software update) on board, while air suspension helps keep the ride as cushy as it can above those 19- or 20-inch aero wheels. Ambient light is everywhere in the materials, too, even in the seat backs.

Those inside will also benefit from a 21-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system, an enormous 15.4-inch infotainment system and a voice assistant that features an animated avatar. For those in the back, the roof-mounted widescreen display allows you to watch movies or conduct business meetings on the move.

As for specs, Volvo says the EM90 has an enormous 116kWh battery pack underneath all of that tech and upholstery, which means up to 459 miles under China’s testing procedures and claims to charge between 10 and 80 per cent in half an hour. Volvo says the EM90 features a 268bhp e-motor, good for a 8.3sec 0-62mph sprint.

Volvo very cleverly says that the EM90 is for China first, not China only – though the brand hasn’t confirmed where else the EM90 may be sold in the future.

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches