Volvo to release first MPV in its history

Volvo has unveiled the first teasing pictures of what is believed to be an all-electric MPV. Dubbed EM90, the car wants to be a “Scandinavian living room on wheels”, as the brand calls it. The final version will be unveiled on the 12th of November.

Though Volvo remains tight-lipped about the specifications, the moniker already unveils a thing or two. The number 90 in the name means that the dimensions will be shared with the zero-emission EX90, though probably not the platform and the battery technology. M is not an entirely new letter for Volvo (the designation for its mobility arm), but it refers to MPV in this case. Like X means cross-over.

Living in a car

That the new EM90 “is designed for you to make the most of the time spent in the car” implies that it aims at Asian markets. In particular, in China, where people increasingly use their vehicles as an extension of their homes. It is not usual for them to watch TV inside their car when coming home from work.

As Volvo is part of automotive giant Geely, the vehicle most akin to the EM90 seems to be the Chinese Zeekr 009, a high-end multipurpose van built for the local market. Leaving the choice between a 116 kWh and a 140 kWh battery pack, the 009 offers ample range and top-of-the-line luxury. That abundance will be swapped for a more downtuned though elegant style at Volvo (see video below).

The Zeekr 009 is a six-seater minivan built on Geely’s SEA platform /Zeekr

The Zeekr 009 doesn’t share the SPA2 underpinnings with the Volvo EX90 but sits on the SEA scalable architecture, also used by the Polestar 4 and 5 models. Volvo has announced that Chinese customers can pre-order the EM90 on the same day of the unveiling. Whether the first minivan in its history will also be offered in other markets has not been made clear.

MPV revival?

However, in Europe, the MPV category is experiencing renewed interest. The once popular but heavier body type got killed by CO2 tax regulations, falling out of grace as the public’s taste increasingly grew toward SUVs. Volvo promoted the first generation XC90 as an alternative to minivans, thanks to flexible seating configurations and clever family-oriented gimmicks.

No longer obstructed by an unfavorable taxing scheme, the switch to battery power could reignite the MPV class in Europe. Maxus has already spotted the opportunity and recently launched the shuttle Mifa 9, while Lexus has decided to import the second generation LM, or the ‘Luxury Mover’. The first edition was only on offer in China. And, obviously, the ID.Buzz aims also at the heart of this category.

Comments

Ready to join the conversation?

You must be an active subscriber to leave a comment.

Subscribe Today

You Might Also Like