The future of Volvo Cars is electric and the new Volvo C40 Recharge is the latest manifestation of its commitment to a zero emissions. By 2025, Volvo’s goal is for 50% of its global sales volume to consist of fully electric cars, and 50% hybrids. By 2030, it plans for every car it sells to be pure electric.
Year-to-date sales numbers indicate Volvo’s strategy is trending in a positive direction for the iconic Swedish brand, currently owned by Chinese company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, as Volvo has tripled sales of its Recharge models over previous year sales.
For the 2022 model year, if the new C40 Recharge is an indication of the performance, safety and quality of Volvo full-electric models, then the future of the brand is set.
Brussels and Ghent, Belgium served as the stunning backdrop for our drive of the 2022 C40 Recharge, the perfect destination given the fact that the car is built alongside the XC40 Recharge at the Volvo Cars manufacturing plant in Ghent.
Volvo C40 Exterior
The C40 Recharge has all the benefits of an SUV but with a lower and sleeker design. Think XC40 SUV, with the so-called “four-door coupe” execution. It is based on the CMA vehicle platform and the first Volvo model in history designed as pure electric only.
The overall look works, as the long hood and sloping roof line that flows into a high, shorter rear section make the C40 look aggressive, with a plus to the handsome 20-inch alloy wheels that don’t scream “This is an electric car” for accentuating the overall sport-ute like height of the vehicle. A pair of roof mounted winglets and rear spoiler add to the aggressive look.
A variety of cool colors are available, but my money is on the stunning Fjord Blue metallic. All C40 colors feature contrasting roof color.
Volvo C40 Interior
Inside, the C40 Recharge provides customers with the high seating position that most Volvo drivers prefer. It is also the first Volvo model to be completely leather-free. All interiors are black, although you can get color-coordinated door cards.
Overhead, a full glass panoramic roof gives the interior an open, airy feel. The so-called “Topography” front passenger-side panel mimics the layout of the Abisko National Park in Sweden, and is backlit at night. It’s an upscale look that’s a welcome addition to the C40 interior.
The infotainment system was jointly developed with Google and is based on the Android operating system. It provides consumers with Google apps and services built-in, such as Google Maps, Google Assistant and the Google Play Store. Apple Car Play will be available in the near future. The 12.3-inch driver display and 9-inch center touchscreen provide all pertinent information, and the center screen is voice and touch enabled. Over-the-air software updates can be scheduled or set to download automatically.
The interior is welcoming for big and tall folks, at least up front. I’m 6’9” tall and weigh 275 pounds, and I had plenty of head, leg and body room. The sloping roof relegates shorter folks to the rear row of this five-seater.
The C40 Recharge offers decent cargo capacity (rear hatch with seats folded and front “frunk”), and a maximum towing capacity of 2000 pounds.
Volvo C40 Drive Experience
Full electric vehicles offer silent thrust that’s infinitely addictive. The dual motor AWD P8 drivetrain in the C40 is good for a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, and 225 miles of range. Range totals are expected by Volvo to improve over time via the new Range Assistant app, which allows over-the-air software updates to the battery management system, increase regeneration performance, and enhance pre-conditioning the batteries. The 78-kWh battery pack can be fast charged to 80% in just 40 minutes. Power output is 402-horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque.
Driving across scenic Belgium was a pleasant experience. Great acceleration, coupled with competent handling made the drive super enjoyable. The C40’s “one pedal” regen system works extremely well, and you can dial in the aggressiveness of the system to your specific tastes.
Volvo C40 Warranty/Service Information
C40 Recharge’s “Convenient Care” standard consumer package includes Wear Coverage (4 years/40,000 miles), Factory Scheduled Maintenance (also 4/40,000), Bumper-to-Bumper New Car Warranty (4/50,000), and High Voltage Drive Battery coverage (8/100,000). The C40 Care Offer also comes with 250 kW of DC fast charging with Electrify America, an EV charging company; and Electrify America’s Pass + for one year, which gives you a kWh rate discount on fast charging.
Moving to the Future
“The C40 Recharge represents the future of Volvo and shows where we are going,” said Henrik Green, chief technology officer. “It is fully electric, offered online only with a convenient care package and will be available for quick delivery. Getting a new Volvo was never this attractive.”
Volvo C40 Recharge pricing begins at $58,750, before Federal and state tax incentives. There is a $1,095 Destination fee.
You can secure your C40 Recharge with a $500 deposit at www.volvocars.com
Pursuitist automotive and lifestyle contributor Brian Armstead has been involved in print, radio, web and television for over 47 years. Brian has traveled to 79 countries. He is a North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year (NACTOY) Juror.