The Volvo Concept Recharge is delivered as a first look at Volvo’s EV-specific design and appears to preview the new electric Volvo XC90.
The Volvo XC90 has been a mainstay of Volvo’s range for two decades, and although the current XC90 is very different to the original XC90, it is clearly an evolution of all that was good about the ground-breaking original.
But Volvo is heading into a new age of electric cars, forsaking its current ICE range and, starting with a new electric XC90 next year, delivering cars built on a platform dedicated to EVs, rather than one adapted from an ICE platform.
To that end we get this – the Volvo Concept Recharge – which Volvo say is a “manifesto for the next generation of all-electric Volvos” and “represents a new paradigm in car design“. And they’re not kidding.
We’ve got the photos of the Concept Recharge to show us what to expect, but Volvo has declined to give any information on its dimensions or its powertrain. But, really, this has to be our first look at the next-generation Volvo XC90. And it’s a slightly jarring one, moving the XC90 from a bold, tall SUV to something more like a very long Crossover with a wheel at each corner.
That’s possible thanks to the electric powertrain with a bank of batteries sitting underneath and delivering a completely flat floor, and is something we’re going to have to get used to as car designers take those EV advantages and design cars around them, moving the windscreen forward and delivering a short bonnet and flat tailgate.
At the front the Volvo grille as we know it has gone, there are still ‘Thor’ headlights, there’s a LiDAR sensor from Luminar built into the roof, the flat tailgate gets Volvo-esque vertical lights and there are aerodynamic wings that extend to aid aero.
That LiDAR sensor will not only aid autonomous driving – when it’s permitted – but be part of a huge data-gathering task by Volvo to ‘tune’ systems in response to the feedback from the myriad sensors.
Inside, the Conpcet Recharge is, say Volvo, a “Scandinavian living room” with a flat floor, lots of sustainable materials, next-gen OS system and a 15″ touchscreen. And a lot of space.
Robin Page, Volvo’s Head of design, said:
With the Concept Recharge, we continue the rich roots of Volvo’s design DNA in a modern and fresh way as we move into our all-electric future. It represents everything we believe customers expect from a pure electric Volvo and we’re excited to take this philosophy into our next generation of cars.