Due to go into production this autumn with first deliveries before 2022, the C40 has been launched in line with Volvo’s ambition for half of its global sales to be full EVs by 2025 and to be an EV-only firm by 2030.
Built on the Swedish company’s CMA platform, the Audi Q4 e-tron and BMW iX3-rivalling C40 is based on the electric version of the XC40, gaining a sloping roofline and a new rear light design. The front features a progression of the XC40 P8’s closed-off grille, which is “a new face for electric Volvos”.
At 4431mm long and 2035mm wide, the C40 has the same exterior dimensions as the XC40, except it’s 690mm shorter, at 1582mm, due to the coupé roof. The sloping rear marginally reduces rear passenger head room by 62mm, although boot capacity is scarcely impacted, at 413 litres. There is also a 31-litre under bonnet 'frunk'.
While the sloping roof gives it a more hatcback-esque design, Volvo says the C40 Recharge still offers the raised seating position "most Volvo drivers prefer".
The C40 uses the same powertrain as its XC40 P8 and Polestar 2 relations, with a 201bhp electric motor mounted on each axle for combined outputs of 402bhp and 487lb ft at 4350rpm. This results in a claimed 0-62mph time of 4.9sec. And, as with all Volvo models now, its top speed is limited to 112mph.
A 78kWh lithium ion battery offers an estimated range of 260 miles. It can be charged at up to 11kW by an AC charger and up to 150kW by a DC charger, the latter allowing an 80% charge from empty in around 40 minutes. Volvo says that the machine's range should improve over the car’s lifetime through planned over-the-air software updates.
The C40 Recharge sits on MacPherson strut-suspension up front and a multi-link set-up at the rear.
The new SUV will be offered with a range of unique interior trim colours and lines and will be Volvo’s first completely leather-free model. It also features Volvo’s new Android-based touchscreen infotainment system, which was jointly developed with Google, and will be offered with unlimited data usage to enable over-the-air updates. That system, which was first used in the XC40 Recharge, offers a significant step forward over its previous infotainment system.
Volvo has yet to release any images of the C40 Recharge's interior, although it is expected to use very similar styling to the XC40 Recharge.
As well as offering the C40 with only a fully electric powertrain, Volvo says that it has “dramatically reduced” the number of variants in the range to simplify and speed up the purchase process. However, like the XC40 Recharge, it will likely be offered with a number of different power outputs and battery capacities.