There is an immediate sense of calmness with the way the Volvo C40 Recharge drives and how it brings its own unique flavour into the crowded electric crossover space. The stylish coupe sibling of the XC40 trades practicality for a swoopy design and gains a lot of character in the process while giving buyers a strong enough reason to consider one over the Tesla Model Y.
While core functionalities like range, performance and dynamics are still in favour of the Model Y, the C40 has a better interior while not quite lagging behind in terms of sheer pace. The twin motor variant especially is adept at blurring the scenery with great effect as it rockets off with a sense of calm hysteria associated with fast EVs. The 78kWh lithium-ion battery powers two motors to make 400 plus bhp and produce a sports car rivalling 0-100 km/h time of just 4.7 seconds. Acceleration is linear though and it is spooky how nonchalantly the C40 Recharge brings out some absurd numbers on the digital driver display.
AWD tries to reign in all that power in a restrained manner but the acceleration is nothing short of shocking within the confines of a Volvo! What’s more, the grip from the wide tyres gives it the demeanour of a sporty car which is typically very unlike Volvo. That said, on the flip side, the big wheels and tyres produce a firm ride which is also at odds with the ‘comfort’ factor that a Volvo brings to the table. Smaller wheels might help with that. Expect the range to be around 300km while one-pedal driving with heavy regen certainly influences that figure.
We also like the simplicity that the C40 Recharge offers as to how they have removed a start/stop button along with lack of confusing modes or too many functions. The new Google based infotainment system also simply works and the clutter-free layout is similar to the standard XC40. Compared to earlier models, the touchscreen is easier to use while usual connectivity/luxury amenities are provided.
That being said, however, the C40 Recharge uses sustainable materials inside and abandons leather for a tinge of environmental consciousness. Space continues to be at a premium while the swoopy roofline further makes the cabin a cosy place to be. That said, a decent ‘frunk’ and lots of storage places make it a practical family car.
The dual-motor C40 Recharge comes in at a pricey $82,490 but it just about manages to justify the price with its aggressive styling coupled with strong performance while also managing to have a more distinct personality over the XC40 Recharge.