The first pictures of the patent application for a large Volvo SUV have appeared on the Internet. Volvo has also registered the name ‘EXC90’ with the European Patent Office. This fuels speculation about the purely electric successor generation – but it could also be a comprehensive upgrade of the current plug-in hybrid.
It is already known that the successor generation of the large Volvo SUV will be purely electric. Under former Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson, the decision was made to deviate from the Swedish brand’s long-standing nomenclature for the new electric generation and give the models names – the name ‘Embla’ has already been registered. Embla is the first woman in Norse mythology.
Since March, however, Briton Jim Rowan has been Volvo’s new CEO. Whether Rowan has reversed the decision is not directly known. What is clear, however, is that the Swedes have had the brand name ‘Volvo EXC90’ protected at the European Union Intellectual Property Office for the areas of electric vehicles and land vehicles. The announcement that the series version of the Volvo Concept Recharge shown in 2021 will begin with a vowel would also be fulfilled with the EXC90. And yet – unlike the Embla designation – it would be clear where the vehicle would be placed in the Volvo model range.
But whether the ‘EXC90’ is really the purely electric successor generation is an open question. At the same time, the first renderings of a large Volvo SUV have emerged, which originate from another patent application. The design at the front could pass as a mixture of the current Volvo design and the Recharge concept presented in 2021.
A clue to the actual model behind the design application is provided by the side view: the front bonnet is still quite long, and the front and rear overhangs are also unusually long in relation to the wheelbase for a pure electric vehicle platform. The vehicle shown in the graphics looks very conventional. In the rear design, however, the design patent deviates from the usual Volvo line with the upright tail lights extending upwards next to the rear window. The C-shaped tail lights are placed lower.
It is possible that the ‘EXC90’ and the conventional design pattern are not the all-new and all-electric generation called Embla, but another facelift of the current range, which will continue to be built with (plug-in) hybrid powertrains in parallel with the all-electric range for some years to come. In February, there was a dealer conference in the USA where, according to the conference agenda, five electric vehicle models and two PHEVs were announced. The two PHEVs are “redesigned versions of the plug-in hybrids S90 and XC90”.
Volvo’s only comment on the name and design patents was that “it is our policy not to comment on future products”.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
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