Volvo’s electric SUV flagship will make the trip Down Under late in 2024, but it’s not clear whether the facelifted version of the petrol-powered XC90 that’ll accompany it globally will be coming alongside it.
The updated XC90 hasn’t yet been revealed. When it’s launched, it will give Volvo a petrol alternative to the EX90 in markets not yet ready for pure-electric power as it gears up to phase out internal-combustion globally by 2030.
In Australia, however, the brand has committed to going EV-only by 2026.
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“The EX90 comes with a reskin [of the XC90], but my preference is not to take it all,” Volvo Car Australia managing director Stephen Connor recently told media.
Mr Connor said there may be crossover between the last examples of the current XC90 being sold in Australia and the first of the EX90 depending on how production ramps up, however.
By the time 2024 rolls around, the current XC90 will be eight years old. If it carries on until the end of Volvo internal-combustion production in 2030, the bones of the petrol and plug-in hybrid XC90 will be 14 years old.
That’s a long time relative to the average luxury car, but not unusual for Volvo. The first-generation XC90 also lived 14 years, earning a cult following among family buyers in the process.
Its death in Australia will come sooner than the rest of the world due to the brand’s plans to sell only electric cars Down Under by 2026.
Although upstarts such as Tesla, BYD, and its corporate cousins at Polestar are already electric-only, Volvo plans to be the first brand to fully transition to pure-electric power in Australia having previously offered petrol, diesel, and plug-in hybrid options locally.
“We’re not going to wait for 2030, we’re not going to wait for the global strategy to come out. I put a proposal to Gothenburg the other day, and we will be fully electric by 2026 in Australia,” Mr Connor said.
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