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Leading The Charge: Volvo C40 & XC40 Recharge


On The Outside To reinforce its cutting-edge design and modern statement, Volvo Cars’ designers have now given the entire XC40 line-up a make-over. A more modern face offers a sleeker front end with a new front bumper and a frameless grille plate, keeping the all-electric XC40 Recharge visually in sync with the C40 Recharge. For example, the signature ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights are augmented now with state-of-the-art pixel LED light technology, enabling them to automatically adapt to traffic in front and efficiently light up the road ahead without dazzling other drivers.

These exterior updates also help to improve efficiency. For example, a new 19 inch alloy wheel for both XC40 and C40 Recharge not only boosts the overall look of the models, but it also helps to reduce drag through its aerodynamic design.

On The Inside Volvo buyers can expect the interior to be well made and easy to use and it is. You get a 12.3 inch digital gauge cluster and a 9.0 inch portrait-style infotainment system. The graphics are sharp and the central screen runs on Google software which loads quickly and has built-in support for Google Maps. The climate controls are operated through the central screen, but in this case Volvo have added a permanent toolbar for the lower edge of the display which means adjusting the climate control is very straightforward. No delving into menus.

Much like the petrol and diesel versions of this car, the front seats have plenty of adjustment with an extendable thigh support and a thick lumbar support cushion and the back seat occupants fare just as well. Best of all the batteries don’t eat into cabin space so the car is as roomy as ever. Again, being Volvo, one of the safest brands on the road, this car absolutely bristles with the latest safety technology.

On The Road The C40 and XC40 Recharge versions are about cruising rather than handling. In normal use the car is very comfortable riding over lumps and bumps with ease. It’s a tall car (and heavier too with the battery packs) so don’t expect sports car handling.

In Addition The C40 In addition to the XC twin-motor variant, Volvo have also unveiled a single-motor variant of the pure electric C40 Recharge, expanding its fully electric offer and supporting its ambition to help more people make the switch to fully electric cars. The new single-motor C40, with power to the front wheels, expands the company’s range of fully electric variants to four, further paving the way towards its ambition of selling only fully electric cars by 2030. The single-motor C40 Recharge comes with a 69kWh battery and an anticipated range of up to 269 miles (434km) on a single charge under the drive cycle. The battery can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent capacity in approximately thirty-two minutes on a fast-charging system. UK model trim levels comprise Start (XC40 T2 only), Core, Plus and Ultimate. Depending on the model, certain trim levels are also offered in a dark theme, with gloss black exterior detailing, or a bright theme, complete with chrome exterior trim and the option of leather on the inside.

About The Two Variants It’s an interesting mix of power options but the burning questions, still, for EV users are, “How far will it go on a single charge?” and “How long does it take to charge?”. Well, Volvo say that as part of the updates they have further improved both the range and charging for the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge increasing range by as much as 41 miles (66 km) in some cases. Furthermore, three new power-trains are offered on the C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge. These include two rear-wheel-drive variants – the first time in 25 years that the brand have offered a rear-wheel-drive product – as well as a revised all-wheel-drive performance model.

The RWD Variant The single motor with standard range is driven by a 175kW permanent magnet electric motor, which provides a three per cent increase in power output over the outgoing 170kW single-motor front-wheel-drive variant. In the XC40 Recharge single motor, the same 69kWh battery capacity is carried over, but enhancements in cooling efficiency mean it can now deliver increased range and driving up to 286 miles (461 km). The range of the C40 Recharge single motor, meanwhile, improves up to 296 miles (476 km) from 272 miles A 10-80 per cent charge takes approximately 34 minutes using a 130kW DC public charger.

Those buyers feeling the need for more power and range, can also opt for a larger battery coupled with a more powerful 185kW permanent magnet e-motor on the rear axle. This second new variant comes with an 82kWh battery pack, which boosts range up to 320 miles (515 km) for the XC40 Recharge single motor extended range and up to 331 miles (533 km) for the C40 Recharge single motor extended range. With the larger pack, a 10-80 per cent charge takes approximately 28 minutes.

The AWD Variant The all-wheel-drive variants also benefit from these updates, realising even more impressive range improvements. The previous set-up of two 150kW e-motors on the front and rear axles has been replaced by a 183kW permanent magnet e-motor on the rear axle and a new 117kW asynchronous electric motor on the front axle.

This new configuration, paired with an 82kWh battery pack and overall efficiency improvements in battery cooling, means the XC40 Recharge Twin Motor AWD can now drive up to 311 miles (500 km) on a single charge while the range of the C40 Recharge Twin Motor AWD has improved up to 315 miles (507 km) from 280 miles. That’s some pretty comprehensive power options giving buyers plenty of choice to suit their motoring needs.

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