Modern luxury does not include leather seats.
To us, luxury has very little to do with technology. It's interior light, quality materials, and just a general sense of well-being once you climb inside. Mercedes-Benz has traditionally been a leader in this category. In 2005, research showed that driving an S-Class actually reduces a person's heart rate. So, we're going to go with that as an answer to the question Volvo posited.
In actual fact, Volvo is heading in a more modern direction. The answer is not a lowered heart rate but rather simplicity, well-being, and natural sources.
"We've chosen materials based on our values," says Cecilia Stark, Senior Design Manager at Volvo Cars. "These choices leave behind old-fashioned automotive luxury and express our Scandinavian foundations. With the Volvo EX90 we take customer well-being as a design starting point."
That essentially means Volvo is aiming for pleasant and elegant interiors while using materials that fit in with its mission to be a fully circular and climate-neutral company by 2040.
So, Volvo went ahead and created a new progressive material it calls Nordico. As Volvo puts it, "the smell of new animal leather is no longer the only indication of a rich interior."
Nordico is made from recycled materials like PET bottles and bio-attributed material from responsibly managed forests in Sweden and Finland. The carpets are made from regenerated polyamide, while the interior inserts are made from FSC-certified wood. The latter acronym stands for Forest Stewardship Council, which means the wood is grown and harvested in the most ethical way possible. In the EX90, the wood is backlit to create the feel of a warm, comfortable Scandinavian living room.
The Volvo EX90 also offers you the option of a wool blend seat finishing, a fabric certified according to strict sustainability standards on animal welfare, environmental and social issues.
In short, Volvo will no longer be killing cows to create its interiors. We're not sure why because using genuine leather is also a circular process. The cow skin is used for leather, the meat is grazed, and the bones are ground up for fertilizer. Cows are extremely useful, actually.
Volvo's sister company, Polestar, still uses animal welfare-certified leather. But Polestars like the recently unveiled 3 EV are slightly more upmarket, which means customers possibly demand a bit more.
Interestingly, Volvo has now stated that EX90 customers can personalize their car's interior atmosphere by choosing between seven different "rooms."
"Each room, specially created by our designers, provides a different character and offers a distinct ambiance to suit your tastes. And each is inspired by aspects of the Scandinavian lifestyle and its symbiotic relationship with the beautiful nature that surrounds us here in the North," said Volvo.
The EX90 will make its highly-anticipated debut on 9 November, and we can't wait to see how this new approach to luxury is incorporated into the vehicle.