Volvo has joined the chorus of carmakers going all-in on electric cars. It announced plans to pivot towards an EV-only range by 2030, and it introduced a battery-powered crossover named C40 Recharge to drive the point home.
As its name implies, the C40 Recharge is related to the XC40 Recharge under the body. And, if you’re familiar with the Swedish firm’s naming system, you’ll recognize right away that the C prefix has historically denoted coupes and convertibles, such as the C30 and the C40. The C40 is not a coupe in the traditional sense of the term because it has four doors, but it wears a fastback-like roofline that underlines the company’s seldom-seen emotional side. While Volvo thrives on rationality, it developed the C40 as the kind of car you buy with your heart, not with your mind.
Inside, the driver faces a digital and configurable instrument cluster. Volvo’s familiar portrait-oriented touchscreen returns, but it displays a state-of-the-art infotainment system developed jointly with Google and powered by Android. Also found in the Polestar 2, this easy-to-use software features built-in Google apps and services, like Google Maps, Google Assistant, and Google Play Store. It can receive over-the-air software updates, too.
Power for the C40 comes from a pair of electric motors (one per axle) linked to a 78-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. Although horsepower and torque haven’t been announced yet, it’s useful to note the XC40 Recharge puts 408 horsepower under the driver’s right foot, enough for a 4.9-second sprint from zero to 60 mph. Volvo quotes a 261-mile driving range according to the WLTP testing cycle, which tends to lean towards the optimistic side of the spectrum, and it points out quick-charging technology zaps the battery with an 80% charge in about 40 minutes.
Manufactured alongside the XC40 Recharge in Ghent, Belgium, the C40 is scheduled to enter production in the fall of 2021. It will land in American showrooms as a 2022 model. Pricing information hasn’t been released yet, but don’t call your local dealer to get more information. Volvo stressed the model will exclusively be sold online, and buyers will receive a bundle that includes service, warranty, and roadside assistance, among other features.
“The C40 Recharge represents the future of Volvo and shows where we’re going. It is fully electric, offered online only with a convenient care package, and it will be available for quick delivery,” summed up Henrik Green, the company’s chief technology officer, in a statement.