Update: ‘C40 loses over 100 km range in winter test’ section added.
The Volvo C40 (codename: Volvo V317) celebrated its world premiere on March 2, 2021. It will enter showrooms very soon now. Here’s how it compares with its donor, the Volvo XC40 Recharge.
Design & Branding
Volvo last used the ‘C’ brand in 2013 on the C30 coupe-hatch. However, a lot has changed at Volvo from that time, which influences Volvo C40.
Coupe variants of SUV are in style, and manufacturers including JLR and BMW cashed in on the trend with the Evoque and X2, both key competitors for the Volvo C40. The sleeker design over the XC40’s boxy SUV styling results in better aerodynamics. Where the Evoque and X2 are available with PHEV options, the Volvo C40 offers the distinction of featuring an all-electric drivetrain.
While the Volvo XC40 Recharge stands upright and looks boxy, the Volvo C40 takes a more dynamic approach on the design front. The curvy headlights complement the roofline that falls more steeply. The coupe-styling is elegant and hasn’t been overdone like the bigger models that often end up like jacked-up sedans. The chunkier alloy wheels, sleeker taillights, sportier roof spoiler, tailgate spoiler, and flatter, more concave tailgate are other interesting external features.
The Volvo C40 differentiates from the XC40 Recharge with Pixel LED headlights. Each headlight is made of 84 Pixel LEDs, and when the vehicle’s camera detects oncoming vehicles, they can shade out up to five vehicles each. So, other drivers won’t get dazzled even when driving with a full beam. Fjord Blue metallic is the hero color of the Volvo C40, another exclusive.
The Volvo C40’s interior has the same design with the only perceivable change in the bezel design of the dashboard. The C40 is the first Volvo model with a leather-free interior. All the elements, including the steering wheel, gear shifter, and upholstery, use sustainable materials instead of leather. A range of decor options is available that are unique to the coupe model.
The Volvo C40 uses the same battery pack and motors as the XC40 Recharge. Its more aerodynamic exterior doesn’t transform the performance figures, neither the 0-60 mph acceleration time nor the top speed. However, it does lead to a marginally higher range – 210 miles (EPA)*. For reference, the Volvo XC40 Recharge range is 208 miles (EPA).
*Volvo Cars-estimated figure. Official EPA rating pending.
Volvo XC40 Recharge P6
Since July 2021, the Volvo XC40 Recharge is optionally available in a cheaper power electric configuration called P6, with a single, front-mounted motor and a smaller, 69 kWh (gross) battery pack. The XC40 Recharge P6 gets 170 kW (228 hp) of power and 330 Nm (243 Lb.-Ft.) torque from its single motor. In Sweden, the XC40 Recharge P6’s range (WLTP) is 421 km (262 miles), as opposed to the XC40 Recharge P8’s 414 km (257 miles).
|Aspect||Volvo C40 Specification||Volvo XC40 Recharge Specification|
|Length\Width\Height||174.4 in.\80.1 in.\62.3 in.||174.2 in.\80.1 in.\65.0 in.|
|Motors||Two (front & rear)||One (front)/Two (front & rear)|
|Motor Power||402 hp||228 hp (FWD)/402 hp (AWD)|
|Motor Torque||487 Lb.-Ft.||243 Lb.-Ft./486 Lb.-Ft.|
|Gross Battery Pack Capacity||78 kWh||69 kWh (P6 FWD)/78 kWh (AWD)|
|Range (EPA)||210 miles (company-estimate)||NA/208 miles|
|Range (WLTP)||261 miles (company-estimate)||262 miles (FWD)*/257 miles (AWD)*|
The XC40 Recharge is one of the safest Volvos built, said Malin Ekholm, head of safety at Volvo cars. Engineers developed a new and unique safety structure for passengers and the battery pack in the XC40 Recharge to give it a reinforced frontal structure to deal with the absence of the engine. The same elements are assumed to have been carried on to the Volvo C40, making it one of the safest coupe-crossovers on sale.
Volvo Cars started manufacturing the Volvo C40 Recharge on October 7, 2021. It manufactures C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge at its Ghent plant in Belgium. The company had inaugurated a brand new battery assembly line for its EVs at its Belgian manufacturing plant in Ghent in March 2020. The carmaker signed long-term supply agreements for its battery needs with CATL of China and LG Chem of South Korea.
The ongoing pandemic has forced the carmaker to re-evaluate many of its projects. However, the company does not plan on pausing its electrification strategy. Volvo Cars has said that it will increase the Ghent factory’s annual production capacity to 135,000 and that it expects more than half of the vehicles it produces there in 2022 to be EVs.
Volvo Cars wants EVs to account for half the annual sales worldwide by 2025, and much of that responsibility initially would fall on compact models like the XC40 Recharge and its coupe derivative. It plans to set up complete in-house electric motor production by the middle of the decade. It will assemble e-motors at its powertrain plant in Skovde, Sweden, with an investment of SEK 700 million (USD 80 million).
Release Date & Pricing
Volvo C40 in the United States
The Volvo C40’s deliveries in European countries and the US will begin before the end of 2021. In the US, the Volvo C40’s prices will start at USD 58,750 MSRP, and they will include 250 kWh of complimentary charging and wear coverage for four years/40,000 miles. The complimentary charging can be used within the first three years. Early birds can make a pre-order with a fully refundable deposit of USD 500 now.
Volvo Cars will sell the C40 in the US market in two trims – Plus and Ultimate. The Ultimate trim will include all the available features such as Pixel LED lighting, 20-inch alloy wheels fixed panoramic moonroof, Android OS infotainment system with Google services and apps, Harman Kardon premium sound system, and a 360-degree surround-view camera system.
Volvo C40 in Europe
On June 2, 2021, Volvo Cars announced that it has started taking C40 orders in Europe. The C40 is available online only, but customers can place an online order with the help of their local retailer. Netherlands and Norway were the first markets where the order books opened first, with Sweden and the UK joining one day later on June 3. Below are the prices of the electric SUV coupe in these countries:
|Country||Volvo C40 Price||Volvo C40 Subscription Price|
|Norway||NOK 554,900||NOK 6,890/month|
|Netherlands||EUR 57,995||EUR 799/month|
|Sweden||SEK 689,900||SEK 7,790/month|
|UK||GBP 57,400||GBP 729/month|
In Norway, the Volvo C40’s basic configuration includes Black Stone solid exterior color, 19-inch double-five-spoke wheels, and Charcoal City Canvas Textile in the Charcoal interior. Below is the list of all options and prices:
|Volvo C40 Options||Price|
|Fusion Red exterior color||NOK 7,920|
|Thunder Gray exterior color||NOK 7,920|
|Fjord Blue exterior color||NOK 7,920|
|Silver Dawn exterior color||NOK 7,920|
|Sage Green exterior color||NOK 7,920|
|Crystal White exterior color||NOK 8,720|
|20-inch five-single-spoke wheels||NOK 5,200|
|Tinted rear windows||NOK 3,360|
|Retractable towbar||NOK 9,520|
|Charcoal City Canvas Textile in Charcoal interior||NOK 13,900|
|Charcoal Connect Textile / Microtech in Charcoal interior||NOK 13,900|
Volvo Cars says that when customers get a new C40, it will come with a convenient Care offer. Service, RSA, warranty, insurance, and home charging options where available, will be included in this package. As stated in the table, a subscription option is available as an alternative ownership mode in all the first markets.
C40 loses over 100 km range in winter test
Motor and Norwegian Automobile Federation’s (NAF) winter tests in January 2021 reveal how EVs fare in a cold climate. In the latest round of testing, the Volvo C40’s range dropped from 437 km (WLTP) to just 333 km, a 23.8% percent fall. For perspective, the Skoda Enyaq iV80 lost 31.8% range while the BYD Tang lost only 10%. The test was conducted in the Norwegian climate by regular drivers with a mix of driving conditions — city, country roads, and motorways — between speeds of 60-110 kmph.
Volvo C40 FAQs
What is the Volvo C40 release date?
The Volvo C40 is expected to reach dealers by the end of 2021. It is available to order currently in 2 trim levels.
Which SUVs would the Volvo C40 rival?
The C40 will compete with the Mercedes EQB. The Range Rover Evoque PHEV & BMW X2 PHEV are indirect competitors.
What will be the price (before subsidies) of the Volvo C40?
The Volvo C40’s prices start at USD 58,750 in America.
Images in the story are compilations made from media released by Volvo Cars.