Volvo’s next-generation XC90 SUV, due in showrooms in 2022, will rely on fully electric and hybrid petrol powertrains only, Auto Express can reveal. And it will be Volvo’s first model to use an advanced “eyes off” autonomous driving function.
The radical overhaul of Volvo’s Land Rover Discovery rival is being made possible thanks to a new generation of the firm’s large car platform, called SPA2.
There will be no diesel option of the next XC90, however. Volvo’s decision to ditch diesel began with the new S60 saloon in 2018 as the Swedish brand kickstarted its transition from internal combustion engines to hybrid and electric vehicles. By 2025 Volvo wants 50 per cent of its sales to be of fully electric models.
Speaking about the new large SUV, Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo CEO said: “This car [next XC90] will be fully electric and built in South Carolina. Using SPA2 it will have such functionality that will improve every product development.”
One of the core advancements of the next XC90 will be its autonomous driving system that will use next-generation sensors, lidars and cameras.“Our product will never be a robo taxi,” Sammuelsson told us, “it will be a premium car with a very advanced cruise control system, which you could call highway pilot.”
Asked how much such technology would add to the cost of the XC90, Samuelsson added: “What would you be willing to pay for a functionality, an autopilot, that can enable the car to turn into an office? $10,000 or $15,000? It’s about customer value. Polished alloy wheels can cost $5,000 so around $10,000 is probably not unrealistic for such a feature.”
The third-generation XC90 is expected to make its debut in 2021, and go on sale the year after. Expect an evolutionary approach to the styling; the fully electric model should feature unique design touches such as the blanked-off grille as previewed by our exclusive image.
Volvo currently plans to launch one new electric vehicle every year up until 2025. The firm’s first EV is the XC40 Recharge, which will go on sale in the UK towards the end of the year.
Read our in-depth review of the current Volvo XC90 SUV right here…