Test: Volvo C40 Recharge Twin, similar, but different (2022)

Test: Volvo C40 Recharge Twin, similar, but different (2022)


Volvo has been making big promises for years. Sometimes they can be taken with a grain of salt, but often they are very serious. In 2017, for example, the Swedes promised that from 2019 all models will be equipped with an electric motor, then launch a series of models with a limited hybrid. But the serious stuff will start in 2030, when the last Volvos with internal combustion engines will be phased out.

Only for plugging

The future of all electricity therefore awaits the Swedes, but it must start today. Until now, the Volvo range has only had one electric model: the Refill for XC40, the electric version of the popular compact SUV. It is now joined by the C40, which will only be available in an electric version, without an internal combustion engine in the lineup.

You can immediately see where the inspiration for this C40 came from, and you can also see that Volvo wanted to bring a new electric model to market quickly without investing too much in development costs. This C40 Recharge shares its CMA platform with the XC40 Recharge and by extension with the Polestar 2. On the other hand, launching a coupe version of the popular SUV is a good move. Just look at the BMW X6, Volkswagen Taigo or Renault Arkana.

Volvo C40 Recharge Twin (2022) static, rear view

A small difference

The C40 Recharge looks like a coupe version of the XC40 Recharge, but has a few minor differences. The grille is also closed, but the headlights are slightly reduced, the roof is about 7cm lower and the rear is designed completely differently. We see, among other things, special optical units and subtle damage to the rear gate. There is no difference in height (4.44 meters), but there is a difference in width and height: the Recharge C40 is 1.87 meters wide and 1.59 meters long, or about 1 cm more and 7 cm less than the Recharge XC40.

Inside, there is no difference. However, the space in the back seat of the C40 seems to be even smaller due to the slope of the roof and therefore the smaller windows. In the trunk, it’s all about small numbers: the C40 Recharge offers 413 liters with the rear seats up and 1,205 liters with the rear seats down. This is a flow of 6 liters and 90 liters under the Recharge XC40. And to be honest: for a coupe, it’s not so bad.

Volvo C40 Recharge Twin (2022) kofferinhoud

All on Android

With the exception of the dashboard and door inserts, the cabin of the C40 is almost entirely carried over from the XC40. That’s not a bad thing in itself: the package is solid and classy, ​​and the driving position is consistently excellent. Additionally, C40 wants to avoid animal skins. So no leather, but plastic processed by other animals and an environmentally friendly alternative. If you use an Android smartphone, your phone is easily connected to the infotainment system. Apple users will have to wait a little longer, although Volvo promises improvements.

Still, there are some limitations. For example, the place where the start button usually sits (just put the lever in position “D” to start) is covered in an unusual way, and we are not completely convinced by the “everything screen”, because the position of the screen. provided for climate control, for example, is limited. Due to the low roof, rear visibility is also poor, especially since there is no wiper for the rear window.

Volvo C40 Recharge Twin (2022) interior

slightly overweight

Given the common platform, it is not surprising that this C40 Recharge takes power from the XC40 Recharge. First of all, a lithium-ion battery 78 kWh, of which 75 kWh can be used in practice, associated with 408 hp distributed over two electric motors. There is also a “Motor Single” version with a 69 kWh battery (67 kWh usable) and a 231 hp electric motor at the front wheels. With its better aerodynamics, the C40 Recharge expects to go further with a full charge: up to 444 km WLTP for the “Twin” version, up to 434 km for the “Single”.

We tested the Twin version with two electric motors. As expected, it does not lack enthusiasm: 0 to 100 km / h takes only 4.7 seconds, the maximum speed is limited to 180 km / h. Even revving is child’s play thanks to the instant torque of 660 Nm. However, don’t expect sporty driving with this C40 Recharge: the center of gravity is low thanks to the location of the battery, but the weight of 2,185 kg is fine very much. very much.

Volvo C40 Recharge Twin (2022) driving, front view

This is the problem with the CMA platform, which was not designed specifically as an electric platform. That means extra pounds of powertrain are added instead of fixed. It also plays tricks on the XC40 Recharge and Polestar 2. Our average consumption of 22.3 kWh/100 km and quiet driving style are high.

Volvo C40 Recharge Twin (2022) rijdend, vooranaanzicht 2

Price

The Volvo C40 Recharge can be ordered online, like the Polestar, and will cost at least €47,880 (France: €44,950). Then it will be necessary to choose the “Single Motor” version. For our “Twin Motor”, the price is set at at least €57,195 (France: €54,700), but it also comes with high-end equipment. A heat pump, heated seats and steering wheel and comprehensive driver assistance are included in the price. The XC40 Recharge is still around €1,500 cheaper.

Volvo C40 Recharge Twin (2022) driving, rear view

Conclusion

Launching a coupe version of a popular SUV is a good move and Volvo understood that very well. The fact that this SUV-Coupé is only available in electric drive only increases its chances of establishing itself in the business fleet market, where Volvo scores well anyway. The C40 Recharge does not lose any practicality compared to the XC40 Recharge, and logically it has the same positives and negatives.