With a week to go before its official presentation, Volvo has offered a small preview of its new car: the Volvo EX90. Both the first official images and the video they have released show some details, but it is not the aesthetics that has attracted the attention of this electric: it has been its aerodynamics. The Swedish brand has managed to The Volvo EX90, a seven-seater electric SUV, has the same drag coefficient as a Chevrolet Corvette.
In this minimal advance we have been able to know that the front of the Volvo EX90 will have rounded shapes, the levers will be flush (a recurring solution to improve the aerodynamics and efficiency of electric cars) and the rims will be partially covered. It will also have LiDAR radar technology to improve the safety of the SUV. House brand.
The drag coefficient of the Volvo EX90
Aerodynamics is one of the challenges that brands face when developing an SUV due to its dimensions: something that is complicated when they are also electric because this factor contributes to their efficiency and, consequently, influences their autonomy. In this case, the Volvo EX90 could exceed five meters long: To this we must add the weight of the car… and that of the seven occupants it can accommodate.
Volvo has managed to optimize the body of the EX90 to be as efficient as it is attractive, and on paper it seems that it has fulfilled, at least, with the first part. Thanks to its design, the drag coefficient of the Volvo EX90 is 0.29 Cx.
That of the seven-seater Tesla Model X Plaid is better (0.24), but what is striking is that it is the same figure that the Chevrolet Corvette C5 (1997). The fifth generation of the American sports car marked a turning point with respect to the interior model. Not only did it release a new platform, the initial version (coupé) was presented with exemplary aerodynamics with a coefficient, as we said, of 0.29 Cx.
LiDAR radar technology
T. Jon Mayer, Director of Exterior Design at Volvo, explained that they have been inspired “by yacht design to shape the proportions of the EX90. The front is based on the ability of sailboats to cross waves. At the same time, it is generally rounder so air can flow around the vehicle more efficiently.” The new SUV ‘cuts’ the air more effectively and, consequently, the battery consumes less energy, thus improving its autonomy.
Of course, not everything has been thought exclusively to make the range of the Volvo EX90 as wide as possible. In some cases, increased aerodynamic efficiency is the result of trying something on the vehicle in an attractive way: the best example of this is the LiDAR radar. This system will constantly analyze everything that happens on the road with a precision that allows you to detect pedestrians at a distance of up to 250 meters either day or night. When it identifies an obstacle, the software and programming will respond by avoiding the risk or minimizing its severity.
As you can imagine, the LiDAR radar is not a particularly discreet device. Many brands have opted to place this technology on the grill of the vehicles, but it was not an option that convinced Volvo since they wanted the unit to be as high as possible: “They are the eyes of the car and placing them on the grid would be the same as if a person had them on their knees. It makes a lot more sense for them to be upside down, as high up as possible so their field of vision is greater.” Reason why they decided to integrate it into the roof line: “It was a challenge to make it attractive and the location to be ideal for its security duties.”
The Volvo EX90 will be presented on November 9. It will not only be the biggest launch since 2017, moment in which the manufacturer launched its latest new invoice model: the Volvo XC40. It will also open the door to a whole wave of vehicles that will transform Volvo into an all-electric brand by 2030.