Volvo is adding a dynamic brother to its compact SUV XC40 Recharge in the form of the C40 Recharge. The coupé variant will only be available with an electric drive. This does not affect the sporty driving behavior. However, the price is quite substantial.
It is no longer a secret that Volvo, like other car manufacturers, is now committed to electromobility. At some point the Swedes will no longer be able to buy cars with internal combustion engines either. In this respect, it is only logical that the next electric car should be launched with the C40 Recharge Pure Electric. Why the sleek coupé has to have all of its properties in the name is not entirely clear, probably because the 4.43 meter long crossover is actually only available as a Stromer. But apart from the unwieldy name, the Swedes have succeeded in creating a sleek designer piece.
(Photo: Christian Bittmann)
The audience has to decide whether the disguised and therefore missing radiator grille is a success. Those interested who approached the C40 on a first trip from Brussels to Ghent – where the car is also produced for Europe – could not really get used to the sight. It looked different with the silhouette and the stern. Here the Swedes rely on pure sportiness with a black panorama roof, large wheels and a two-part roof spoiler. Compared to the C40, the design of the taillights is also new. As we know it from Volvo, they run vertically along the rear window, but like the roof line, they are inclined like a coupé and divided into individual segments.
Neat bang on the axles
And because sportiness is the focus of the C40 Recharge Pure Electric, the Swedes have given it a corresponding drive. A permanent magnet synchronous motor works on the front and rear axles; both provide a total system output of 408 hp and balance a maximum torque of 660 Newton meters on the wheels. The electric motors are fired by a 500 kilogram, 75 kWh battery, which, in combination, ensures that the sprint from standstill to country road speed is completed in 4.7 seconds.
(Photo: Christian Bittmann)
The top speed, as we now know from Volvo, is limited to 180 km / h. But until then, when you step on the pin, the thing really hits it. If you as a passenger do not press your head firmly against the back of the seat, which is made of sustainable raw materials and feels very much like leather, you will be helped next time with a good slap on the back of the head. In short: In every situation, or rather in every driving situation, the Swede has enough pressure to shoot forward as if flicked by a catapult. At normal speed on country roads or autobahns, nobody has to worry about overtaking.
Fast loading is possible
And you don’t have to worry about the charging infrastructure over a hip 444 and realistic 350 kilometers. You should still keep an eye on consumption. If you really hang on to the power pedal here, you will easily need around 30 kWh over 100 kilometers. But there is another way: with a light right foot, after 100 kilometers there are just 19 kWh on the clock and the healthy average is then probably around 22 kWh. Of course, the C40 Recharge can also regain a little energy by recuperating it. In principle, the Swede is set to the one-pedal drive when driving. That means nothing other than that the resistance is regulated by the electronics during the rolling process in such a way that the car brakes to a standstill in order to collect maximum energy. It takes getting used to, it works if you get involved as a driver, but in the end it is really splendid.
(Photo: Christian Bittmann)
But now it is also clear that even the best recuperation cannot bring a 75 kW battery to full capacity. But here too, Volvo has taken precautions and provided a connection that also makes it possible to charge at fast charging stations with up to 150 kW. Once you have found such a power station, an almost empty battery is back to 80 percent of its capacity after 37 minutes and the journey could go another 100 kilometers. It is correspondingly slower on a wallbox with 11 kW. Here electricity can be recharged for 50 to 60 kilometers within an hour; at 3.7 kW it is only 15 to 20 kilometers in one hour. In the worst case scenario, a lot of patience would be required here, or in the best case night rest would be the right time to charge. When looking for a charging station, of course, the Volvo app stored in the Android system helps, which, like Google Maps, can be controlled as a navigation system via the smartphone. In cooperation with the plugsurfing card supplied with the car, Europe-wide access to 200,000 charging stations is then guaranteed – at least that is what Volvo promises.
Sporty across the transverse joint
But as already mentioned: As long as the battery drives the electric motors, the C40 Recharge not only pleases with its spontaneous acceleration, but also with a very sporty, speed-dependent power steering and chassis. In fact, it shows a rather tight side, but it only lets it hang out when it goes over suddenly appearing transverse joints. It gets really tough when they appear in short episodes. Otherwise, the damping has the astonishingly low weight of 1.8 tons under control. And in the end, the energy from the 500 kilogram battery has to go somewhere between the axles during compression and rebound. Otherwise, Volvo promises a load distribution on the axles of 50:50 in the best mid-engine sports car style. Of course, that’s not how the Swede drives himself, because at 1.58 meters the Swede is still quite high as a crossover. But in the end, the C40 Recharge doesn’t want to be an e-racer at all, but a visually dynamic and sustainably built friend for everyday use, to which 1.8 tons can be attached.
(Photo: Christian Bittmann)
For many years now, Volvo has come up with a whole armada of safety features for its family car and installed them there. And of course that also applies to the coupé. This includes the safety structure of the body as well as the always active emergency brake assistant, which also monitors the intersection if required. In addition, the electronics monitor the deviation from the road and prevent it, just like the active lane departure warning system when leaving the lane – and this is important – easily intervenes in the steering wheel. Sensors and cameras recognize the traffic signs, adjust the speed automatically or support the driver in annoying traffic jams. The list could be expanded a lot here, but those interested have to put a few crosses in the list of options and anyway actively deal with what should ultimately protect them and the inmates.
Security from A to Z
The seats with whiplash protection system are standard for the driver and front passenger. Like other manufacturers, the Swedes offer extra child seats for children. The foldable child seat integrated in the rear seat, which Volvo offers for other vehicle types, does not exist for the crossover coupé. But here we would also be at the same time as the space available. As always, that’s fine in the front seats. In the second row, children shouldn’t have any problems. Because of the roofline, adults have to make themselves a bit small when entering and then, depending on the size of the person in front, do not necessarily have a lot of legroom.
The trunk is measured at 414 to 1205 liters and, like traveling in an electric car, requires a certain amount of planning anyway. But it is doubtful whether the entry-level price of 57,890 euros will encourage young families of all people to get into the C40 Recharge Pure Electric. Moreover, because the list of desires for helping assistants can quickly lead to the price rising above the 60,000 euro mark.
However, there is also a new sales strategy for the C40 Recharge: The car can only be ordered online and the above price also includes a so-called “Care” service package, which includes liability, fully comprehensive, service, maintenance and wear and tear and for three Years applies. For all those who are still at war with electromobility, Volvo offers a subscription model. It costs 769 euros a month. At first glance it looks like a steep price and is probably not suitable for young families either. But the Flex tariff allows you to return the car within 30 days and then cancel it with three months’ notice.