A bit of news sprung forward regarding the next iteration of the Volvo XC90. Currently, three-row SUV is offered as a gasoline or plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV), but it appears there might be an all-electric version in the works and the gasoline model will be dropped. And the question is, will Volvo keep the PHEV or go all-in on EV?
Additionally, the XC90 might get a name change.
Volvo remains tight lipped about all the details, but we do have a few guesses.
My money is on pure EV as that is the way the industry is going — and since Volvo has committed to be all-electric by 2030.
If you believe a rumor that was first floated in the British car website Autocar, then the next-gen XC90 will be named Embla. Why Embla? Well, that’s the name of the first human woman in Norse mythology. With Volvo being Swedish, the Norse mythology connection makes sense. Plus, this goes along the “Hammer of Thor” headlights.
Arguably, these attractive headlights add a lot of distinction to current Volvo vehicles, so renaming the XC90 to match the Norse feel would be apropos. Additionally, according to Autocar, a trademark for the name Embla was filed. Oh, and a former Volvo exec spoke late last year, stating the next XC90 name would begin with a vowel.
Those are enough hints to feel confident(ish) about the Embla name for the XC90.
This is the big question. Will the next XC90 (or whatever it will be named) be a pure electric vehicle or will it simply retain the PHEV status? A PHEV is almost passé at this point. Plus, since already offers the XC90 Recharge, how different would that be?
Another clue: When Volvo revealed the all-electric Concept Recharge, Volvo said it would not only be electric cars by 2030 but also be a climate neutral and circular business by 2040.
This all points to the high likelihood the XC90 (or Embla) will, in fact, be pure EV. As Volvo barrels ahead with its electrification plans, it will likely base the Embla on the current SPA2 platform but with a major overhaul.
Still not sure about this EV thing? Look no further than this tidbit from a press release about the Concept Recharge, which shows how different an electric XC90 might look:
“With the Concept Recharge, Volvo Cars envisions the future of aerodynamics. It incorporates innovative aerodynamic features such as exterior design details that smooth the airflow, a new wheel design, a lower roof, and a more upright rear end. As such, it takes the classic SUV shape and improves airflow to increase range, while offering the incredible space opportunities that comes naturally with an electric car and its lower floor.”
Expect Embla (or XC90) to be longer than the current three-row SUV with a longer wheelbase. No official release date has been announced by Volvo, but expect it to be part of the 2024 model year at the very latest.
Let’s not get caught up on the name. Whether it’s Embla or XC90-E, we know the next generation of this quality, luxurious European SUV will be drastically different. Expect major changes from Volvo.
And, honestly, I’ll be paying attention as this SUV is one of my all-time favorites. Volvo has quietly done a tremendous job of creating high-quality vehicles. So how it leads, heading toward the 2030s and beyond will be of interest to me.
The XC90, er Embla, will be just the beginning.
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