The Volvo C40 Recharge (codename: Volvo V317) celebrated its world premiere yesterday. Here’s how it compares with its donor model, the Volvo XC40 Recharge.
Design & Branding
The ‘C’ brand was last used in 2013 on the C30 coupe-hatch. However, a lot has changed at Volvo from that time which would influence the direction of the 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 of a coupe over the XC40’s boxy SUV styling results in better aerodynamics. Where the Evoque and X2 are available with PHEV options, the Volvo C40 offer 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 on the bigger models that often end up like jacked-up sedans. The chunkier alloy wheels, sleeker tail lights, sportier roof spoiler, tailgate spoiler, and flatter, more concave tailgate are some other interesting bits of the design.
Another exterior aspect where the Volvo C40 differentiates from the Volvo XC40 Recharge is 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 is unique to the model.
The Volvo C40 uses the same battery pack and motors as the Volvo XC40 Recharge. Its more aerodynamic exterior doesn’t change 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).
|Aspect\Specifications||Volvo C40 Specs||Volvo XC40 Recharge Specs|
|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)||Two (front & rear)|
|Combined Motor Power||402 hp||402 hp|
|Combined Motor Torque||487 Lb.-Ft.||486 Lb.-Ft.|
|Battery Pack Capacity||75 kWh (usable)/78 kWh (gross)||75 kWh (usable)/78 kWh (gross)|
|Range (EPA)||210 miles||208 miles|
The XC40 Recharge is one of the safest cars Volvo has 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 Recharge, as well as it 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.
Manufacturing & Price
In March 2020, Volvo inaugurated a brand new battery assembly line at its Belgian manufacturing plant in Ghent, where it builds the XC40 Recharge. The carmaker signed long-term supply agreements for its battery needs with CATL of China and LG Chem of South Korea. It will build the C40 alongside the XC40 Recharge at this plant.
Samuelsson had stated in an interview with Automotive News previously that the ongoing pandemic forced the carmaker to re-evaluate a number of its projects. However, the company does not plan on pausing its electrification strategy. Production of the Volvo C40 is planned at 8,000 units for its first year on the market, as per reports.
Volvo Cars announced in January 2020 that it plans to triple electric car production capacity at the Ghent plant (Belgium) by 2022. The company will utilize around 60% of the net production capacity for manufacturing electric cars.
The company wants EVs to account for half its annual sales worldwide by 2025, and much of that responsibility initially would fall on compact models like the XC40 Recharge and its coupe derivative, the C40. The company 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 84 million).
With the Volvo XC40 Recharge costing $53,990, expect the Volvo C40 coupe to retail from around $60,000 when it eventually arrives in the United States. The US launch could take place in the second half of the year, and early birds can make a pre-order with a fully refundable deposit of $500 now.
Volvo C40 FAQs
What is the Volvo C40 release date?
The Volvo C40 (Volvo XC40 Coupe) is expected to be available in the USA in H2 2021.
Which SUVs would the Volvo C40 rival?
The C40 will compete with the Mercedes EQA. The Range Rover Evoque PHEV & BMW X2 PHEV are indirect competitors.
What will be the price (before subsidies) of the Volvo C40?
The C40 is expected at around $60,000 in America. The XC40 Recharge starts at $53,990 or $46,490 after federal EV tax credit.