The arrival of the 2021 XC40 Recharge, the first all-electric vehicle to bear the Volvo badge, represents a crucial moment for the company; it is, after all, an important step towards achieving the “carbon neutral” objective by 2040.
You have to look closely to see the differences between the XC40 Recharge and the gasoline version. The grille opening has been replaced with a panel matching the body color. Since there is no engine in the front, the need for cooling is reduced and the grille is therefore no longer necessary. Behind this panel, we now find all the sensors necessary for driving aids.
Other changes include a new color (Sage Green Metallic) specific to this version, unique 19- or 20-inch wheels, the “Recharge” logo on the top of the C-pillars and unique badges on the tailgate. Impressively, Volvo – just like Kia did with its Soul EV – managed to keep the shape of the vehicle – a compact form, nothing less – and fit in a big 78 kWh battery, all without have to change the size of the XC40.
They didn’t sacrifice much else either; the space for the passengers is the same and the storage under the rear floor which has been lost due to the presence of the batteries is compensated by the addition of a trunk at the front, as with a Porsche Boxster or a 911 .
In addition to the 78 kWh (75 kWh usable) battery, there are electric motors at the front and rear, which gives us all-wheel drive, as well as 402 horsepower and 486 lb-ft. of couple. These impressive numbers can erase 0-100 km / h in less than 5 seconds, according to Volvo. Like so many other electric vehicles, the XC40 Recharge offers instant torque, which in turn increases performance.
Another advantage is that it is possible to prepare the cabin before leaving, either by selecting the climatic parameters that you want to find on board. This can be done whether the car is plugged in or not, but of course in this second case the battery is used to do this.
And with an electric vehicle, if power is one thing, for many, the question of autonomy is even more relevant. Volvo announces a capacity of 335 kilometers (EPA certified), which positions the XC40 at about the same level as the Nissan LEAF Plus and Chevrolet Bolt. The Tesla Model Y, however, continues to lead the pack in range with over 525 kilometers, depending on the version.
As for the time required for recharging, it ranges from eight hours on a level 2 charger to 40 minutes (0 to 80%) on a level 3 charger where the capacity can reach 150 kW. Of course, regenerative braking is also present to help charge the battery while driving (it also allows one-pedal driving, as you never have to brake to stop), but Volvo has decided not to not display the expected range on the instrument panel before there is only 25 km to go.
The company claims it reduces independence anxiety. We’re not so sure, though, but we’ll wait until we drive the XC40 Recharge before making a final judgment. Upon purchase, you will receive a ChargePoint Charging Network Getting Started Guide and have the option to purchase a ChargePoint Level 2 Home Charging System.
For the first time in a Volvo vehicle, multimedia functions are taken over by Android Automotive, a system that debuted in the Polestar 2, a car jointly developed by Volvo and Chinese automaker Geely.
Android Automotive is essentially reminiscent of the Google Cloud. You can log into your Google account from the driver’s seat and, assuming your smartphone is present, have access to all kinds of features included in it such as Google Maps, your contacts, your Gmail account, and more. . All of this is displayed on a standard nine-inch center screen.
The system also allows you to use “Hey Google” voice commands, including asking Google to help you find a charging station. Sirius satellite radio and the Apple CarPlay app will not be supported at launch, however, but will soon be offered through online updates.
In addition, all expected driving aids are present, such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, blind spot assistance, lane departure mitigation, and many more. . Volvo strives to reduce both the amount of emissions produced by its range, but also the number of accidents in which its drivers are involved. As for the lineup, only one version of the XC40 Recharge is offered and it costs $ 64,960. In terms of equipment, it compares to the AWD R-Design version of the gasoline XC40, which sells for $ 48,250.
Come back to us for a first test of the XC40 Recharge 2021 next week.