The next-generation Volvo XC90 is deep into its development and we already know many preliminary details about it. The most important thing, however - its name - is missing from the picture at the moment, and there could be a surprise coming from Volvo. The XC90 may no longer be called that way.

In a recent interview with Automotive News, CEO Hakan Samuelsson provided some details about the new flagship SUV of the Swedish brand. When asked about its name, he declined to unveil it just yet, but said the name “will start with a vowel.” 

While that’s a pretty vague hint, a trademark filing from October this year, unearthed by Australia's Drive, shows the automaker filed to protect the Embla moniker. It’s Volvo’s only trademark starting with a vowel in the last four years, which makes it a solid candidate for the new SUV. As a side note, Embla is the name of the first female in Norse mythology.

As far as the tech aspect of the new XC90 is concerned, Volvo’s CEO emphasized the fact that it will be the brand’s first dedicated electric vehicle planned as such from the very beginning of the project. To a certain extent, this corresponds with the meaning of the Embla name as a first of something.

“It will be born electric, so there will be none of the compromises that come when you make a combustion car an EV,” Samuelsson told Automotive News. “That means we don't have to worry about where the engine and exhaust system will go. This car will have a flat floor and roomy interior. It will be the perfect family car in Europe and the US, where the current XC90 is very popular today. It will have a high seating position, good visibility and you'll drive around without having a guilty conscience because you will be driving electric.”

From previous reports, we’ve learned the successor to today’s XC90 will feature advanced safety systems and won’t share its powertrain options with the Polestar 3, which will be based on the same platform. The full debut of the new Swedish SUV is expected next year.

Gallery: 2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge T8: Review

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