New Volvo ES90 electric saloon to take on BMW i5 with 400+-mile range

Volvo has begun development of a new all-electric executive saloon and our exclusive images preview how it could look

Volvo is gearing up to launch an EV successor to the S90 saloon later this year according to pictures and information leaked online. Swedish motoring magazine Teknikens Varld says the first pre-production examples of the new Volvo ES90 have been built, suggesting we may soon see cars testing on public roads.

The details come after an image was shared on Volvo’s employee intranet system, showing a car covered by a sheet and surrounded by workers at one of the brand’s factories in China. The banner above the car reads: ‘Volvo Cars V551 First VP Car Celebration’ – V551 being the new model’s internal code name, and VP signifying this is a verification prototype.

According to the Teknikens Värld story, Goran Larsson, technical lead for the V551 project, said: “VP car construction takes us one step closer to delivering a new, finished car to our customers. As a real car we can touch and use it for tests, it plays a decisive role in the development process.”

While unconfirmed, we expect the new car to use the ES90 badge – following the naming convention begun by the EX90 and EX30 electric SUVs. We can’t decipher much more from the single teaser picture, but our exclusive images preview how the new model could look. It uses a similar design language and flush front end to Volvo’s existing electric models, and we expect the ES90 to also inherit a bold set of ‘Thor’s Hammer’ LED lights and sharp detailing.

The ES90 will sit on the same SPA2 platform as the EX90, with the saloon likely to measure almost five metres in length. That means it’ll sit between the old S90 and the (not-for-UK) long-wheelbase version of the same car. However, due to the new model’s electric-specific architecture, we can expect space in the back seats of the ES90 to surpass that offered in its predecessor – allowing greater scope for a sloping, more aerodynamic roofline.

Volvo is committed to an EV future, and in 2022, it announced it would reveal “one fully electric car each year”. By 2030, the company will sell only fully electric cars, which it says is “crucial to [Volvo’s] ambition to be a climate-neutral company by 2040”.

The plan started with the aforementioned EX90, and was followed by the smaller EX30 last year. The China-only EM90 electric MPV can be considered a “bonus” model, according to a Volvo spokesperson – an additional variant not revealed in line with Volvo’s global promise. Next up is the ES90, which we expect to see in full later this year.

We can look to the saloon’s SUV sibling for battery and motor configurations, too. That means the ES90 will probably launch with a single 107kWh battery, and dual motors for all-wheel drive. The ES90’s sleek shape could mean a range of 400 miles or more, with later single-motor models offering greater efficiency and range.

Rivals for the ES90 include the BMW i5 and Mercedes EQE, as well as the upcoming Audi A6 e-tron. Expect a raft of Chinese brands to benchmark the Volvo; Nio, for example, has bold plans for Europe based upon its innovative battery-swap tech.

An estate version of the ES90 – presumably called EV90 – will join the range later, offering all the same specs but with a bigger, more family-friendly boot.

While the S90 and V90 are no longer sold in the UK, a spokesperson said availability for the new saloon would depend on “local market conditions” and “market desire” – refusing to state we’d also be denied the ES90 when production starts in 2025.

Click here for our list of the best electric cars on sale right now...

Deputy editor

Richard has been part of the our team for over a decade. During this time he has covered a huge amount of news and reviews for Auto Express, as well as being the face of Carbuyer and DrivingElectric on Youtube. In his current role as deputy editor, he is now responsible for keeping our content flowing and managing our team of talented writers.

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