By Otsile Kadiege
We recently joined Volvo Car South Africa at a cold and rainy Western Cape for the local launch of the all-new C40 Recharge. The new EV joins the Volvo XC40 Recharge and boasts the brand’s EV design and styling, new tech, and a powerful battery pack.
Typical Volvo design
The C40 Recharge is unmistakably Volvo thanks to design cues borrowed from other Volvo models like the XC40 it’s based on. Its coupe-like silhouette is not only sleek but also purposeful – reducing drag. Exterior highlights include smart Pixel LED headlights with ‘Thor’s Hammer’ daytime running lights, a closed off grille, a ‘frunk’ (front luggage area) with 31L, a large set of 20-inch wheels, a rear sloping roofline, an integrated rear spoiler and LED taillights with sequential turn signals.
We are fans of the design and styling of the new C40 Recharge. It’s a perfect blend of elegance and sportiness. Its sloping roofline, however, compromises rear vision.
Like most of Volvo’s new cars the inside of the C40 Recharge has a modern, premium cabin with a minimalist design, however this one has a leather-free upholstery. Highlights include partially recycled carpets, translucent back-lit decor, a standard fixed panoramic roof which adds light into the cabin, a banging premium Harman Kardon sound system, smart storage spaces and a portrait style touch display with an intuitive Android-based infotainment system called Google Automotive Services with built in Google Maps and Google Assistant to name a few.
Throughout our day drive we were cocooned in a comfy and fairly spacious modern cabin made of sustainable materials. The latter won’t be to everyone’s taste since the fine touches of leather have been omitted.
Safety and assistance systems
The C40 Recharge scored a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and comes with a comprehensive suite of Volvo’s driver assistance systems.
Powering the Volvo C40 P8 Recharge Twin AWD Ultimate is electric motors at the front and rear axles, and a 78kWh lithium-ion battery pack good for 300kW and 660Nm. Volvo claims a range of 444km and a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.7 seconds.
Like the XC40 Recharge, once you get inside the C40 Recharge don’t bother looking for a start/stop button because it’s not there. Yes, all you need to do is make sure the key fob is within range, depress your foot on the brake pedal and engage the reverse or drive gear.
The petrolhead in us – or should I say- electrichead – was keen on experiencing the massive 300kW and its on tap 660Nm. A quick sprint from stand still proved to us that the C40 Recharge P8 AWD Ultimate is rapid and 0-100km/h felt quicker than the claimed 4.7 seconds. After we were done with the boy racer stuff the C40 Recharge delivered a comfy and quiet drive. Getting used to one-pedal-driving (regenerative braking) didn’t take long and we rarely used the brake pedal, especially in town. It also has impressive range of around 330km at 80% charge. According to Volvo, using a fast charger to charge from 10 – 80% will only take 37 minutes.
Pricing and conclusion
The Volvo C40 Recharge P8 AWD Ultimate is competitively priced at R1,285,000 and competes with the like of the new BMW iX1 and the Mercedes-Benz EQB to name a few. Volvo has hit the ball out the park with the C40 Recharge and we can’t wait to have it on test for a more detailed review.
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