URBAN EYE CANDY SWEDE EV: Since its catch and release in 2019 the entry luxury Volvo XC40 crossover vehicle was an immediate hit with discerning active lifestylers. The package of urban friendly dimensions with meaningful practicality, refined sporty dynamics was infused with that Nordic sweet lingonberry tastefulness. Initially skipping any socially conscious complex gas hybrid electrification, the luxury ute was nonetheless headed for a destiny of zero tailpipe emissions with more radical sport activity coupe design in the new for 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge battery electric vehicle.
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WHAT: 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin battery electric sub-compact sport activity coupe EV fraternal twin to the XC40 Recharge BEV sport square-back, lies on the Swedish automaker’s Compact Modular Architecture co-developed with parent Geely Motors, adapted from the Volvo Scalable Product Architecture. While “electrified” hybrid XC40’s exist, the C40 is exclusively electric. The CMA platform is also shared with the Polestar 2 EV and Lynk & Co 01 small crossover SUVs.
ELECTRIC MOTORS: 360V synchronous AC traction & reverse polarity regenerative charging motor(s)
Recharge E-Motor x 1, Front (Net): 243 hp (150 kW) @ 4919 – 11,100 rpm / 243 lb-ft @ 0-4350 rpm
Recharge Twin AWD (Net): 402 hp (300 kW) @4350- 13,900 rpm / 487 lb-ft @ 0-4350 rpm
- E-Motor 1, Rear: 201 hp (150 kW) @ 4350 – 13,900 rpm / 243 lb-ft @ 0-4350 rpm
- E-Motor 2, Rear: 201 hp (150 kW) @ 4350 – 13,900 rpm / 243 lb-ft @ 0-4350 rpm
DRIVE UNIT: 1 x Motor Gear Drive Unit single (1) speed gear reduction drive x 2 E-Motors
+1 Over the Air (OTA) power enhancement available for a one fee per download.
- battery – standard range: 78 kWh nominal, 400V, 180 amp hr, Volvo in-house manufactured
- battery composition: 324 Lithium Ion Polymer cells, 27 modules x 12 cells, 3 parallel stacks x 108 serial cells @ 3.7V per cell –
Onboard charging port: SAE J17772 10.9 kW Mennekes (AC, Levels 1, 2) + 150 kW CCS Combo 2 (DC, Level 3)
Heat pump (for enhanced cold climate battery conditioning): AVAILABLE (included on test vehicle)
- Level 1 110V AC 6 ampere charge = 68 hours 95% charge (from 80% discharge)
- Level 2 240V AC 48 ampere charge = 8.25 hours 95% charge
- Level 3 480V 125A DC charge
- 50 kW = 1.6 hours to 80% charge
- 100 kW = 45 minutes to 80% charge
- 150 kW = 31 minutes to 80% charge
(A) STYLING (DIFFERENCE): The related Volvo XC40 was already the Baby Bear to the Mama Bear XC60 and Papa Bear XC90 Scandinavian luxury crossover SUVs. As coupe version of a petrol fueled XC40, the C40 = more sloped roof + curved punched out Kammback liftgate. An all battery electric version of a coupe version of a petrol XC40 = a solid body colored panel in placed of the middle grille inlet + liftgate lower left side “RECHARGE” emblem.
√ Low slung hood pours over into fender, w/ wider split twin side valleys; √ Defined muscle = pronounced mid fascia and fully scooped coke bottle door cheatline; √ Body color matched wide hexagonal mid grille solid panel matching contrasting dark roof, pillars, full lower body cladding; √ Inboard arrow shaped slim wrap-around LED headlamps; √ “Thor’s Hammer” outboard lateral T-shape alternating white DRLs/ amber flashers;
√ Dark contrast roof spills partly into C-pillar, delineated by exaggerated Hoffmeister kink
√ Deep liftgate adopts cheatline Kammback bulge; √ Trademark long “S” LED tail-lamps follow from the roof spoiler down to the mid tailgate cheatline, wrapping into the rear quarters; √ Slightly beveled part dark clad svelte bumper cover carries license plate in octagonal bezel; √ Lateral hockey stick lower corner reflectors;
WHY: Duplicating the great from the gasser, for an easier ICE to BEV luxury urban coupe ute transition.
WHEN: On-Sale (in the U.S.) since winter 2021-2022
WHERE: Volvo new vehicle dealers
WHERE MADE: Ghent, Belgium
WHERE TO: standard (in U.S.) dual electric motor drive unit constant 50/50% front / rear torque; Selectable Off-Road mode aided by ABS descent control; 8″ clearance = Inclement weather beater & light off-roader
HOW ROADWORTHY: With about the same amount of torque on offer as in the Swedes’ surprise of a hyper plug-in hybrid S60 T6 Recharge, the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin is capable of no less same full breath stealing shove deep into the seat backs. Of course the snap comes without any noise, not helped by the unavailability of any synthesized sounds of motion in the rather vault-like cabin. Unlike it’s gasser counterpart there are no console switchable drive modes. Instead an extra tug back on the traditional T-shift lever engages a more aggressive Battery regenerating slowing mode. The accelerator pedal is sprung with nearly burdensome resistance, as if asking whether the driver is that intent on being engaged to the point of less efficient driving, even if only environmental pal electrons are being consumed.
One pedal driving is the go to mode in most conditions but for motorways. But why should the driver need to dig two layers deep into the new Android Automotive touch center stack infotainment display to activate it. (BTW that’s also the place to engage Off-Road Mode.) Why not emulate the HKG steering wheel dorsal “shift paddles” for varying regenerative slowing. It is as if the engineers at Gothenburg have settled on a just enjoy the ride compromise. NOTE: Effective 2022 Model Year all Volvos have been subjected to a self-imposed top speed limiter of 112 mles per hour.
+1 Retains the traditional rowed T-shifter from non EV XC40 Volvos.
-1 No variable synthesized cabin EV sounds
On the road there is a pesky reminder of the significantly greater vehicle mass in the new Volvo C40 Recharge EV, owing to that 78 kWh battery pack. Damping, which corresponds to most assuredly heftier springs, is tuned for a truly absorbent ride than recalled in ICE XC40s on 20″ wheels. Steering wheel wind is on the inert side, taking any conscious work out of the equation. That deters exploration of turn-in for sharpness on what are surely low adhesion tires. But the eminently usable one pedal operation announced a bit much body dive when slowing from higher speeds. The stiff SPA structure is rock solid and shake free.
HOW FAR: 82 mpg-E combined miles per gallon; 2.8 miles / kWh; 214 nominal / 221 miles range, w/ cabin climate on / off @ 94% charge.
- Charging, complimentary: 250 kW cumulative, 1 year discount subscription upon depletion with Electrify America
- Charge Event(s)
- EVGo 50 kW DC public charger, 32 kWh drawn to 94% charge status, 54 minutes session duration @ $0.29 per minute charging cost, $16.29 total session cost, 32° F ambient temperature
HOW BIG/ LITTLE: √ 5 Occupant 2+3 seating; External dimensions on the tidy size for the compact crossover segment, but thin seat backs afford ample adult space; Minding ones head before entering that 2nd Row under sloped roof is fair warning; Cargo capacity suffers owing to Sport Activity Coupe design.
– For Comparison’s Sake:
- 106.4″-inch Wheelbase: 2.3″ > Audi Q4 E-Tron, 1.3″ < Polestar 2
- Nominal cargo capacity: 30% < Audi Q4 E-Tron, 17% > Polestar 2
- 2nd Row legroom: 2.2″ < Audi Q4 E-Tron, 2.2″ > Polestar 2
HOW USEFUL: √ Variable height power lifgate; √ cockpit power released 2nd Row 60/40% split folding seat backs; √ 2nd Row 60/40% split reclining seat backs; √ 2nd Row center pass through;
√ FRUNK = Front Trunk; √ Sub-cargo floor storage; +1 Ample bottom center stack wireless device bin; √ Sub-front seat storage; √ Deep, carpet-lined front + rear door pockets; √ 2nd Row saddle pockets; √ Cup holders x 4, Bottle holders x 4; -1 Low end of class cargo capacity; -1 Thick rear pillars and small backlight make optional surround view cameras nearly imperative; +1 Tow Rating: 2000 lbs. (1 ton > Ford Mustang Mach E AWD)
–1 No overhead console retracting sunglass bin; -1 Distant reach to & smaller glove box; -1 No cargo bay power port
HOW SAFE: √ 7 airbags; √ Pixel LED auto headlamps + DRLs; √ HD rear camera; √ sonar front & rear Park Distance Control, √ Blind spot, rear cross traffic & lane departure warning & avoidance braking, √ Auto parking brake hold; √ City Safety traffic pedestrian & cyclist avoidance; √ Auto high beam headlamps; √ Run off road protection & mitigation, √ Power 2nd Row door child locks
Available (included on tested vehicle): ♦ High pressure spray headlamp washers; ♦ 360° Surround view cameras
Partial Autonomous Driving: √ Pilot Assist 2 Level 2.5 autonomy ; √ Full-adaptive cruise control; √ Lane Keep Assist, √ Forward Collision avoidance braking; Road sign display; +1 Permits 23 seconds of hands/ foot free driving, and centers within marked lane without straying.
HOW PEOPLE FRIENDLY: The debut of the related CMA first generation Volvo XC40 in 2019 exhibited a minimalist version of functional yet inspiring Scandinavian living. That is mostly unchanged on the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin. While the dashtop is conventional pliable dark grey material the dashboard is layered lacking with minimal seams. While a contrasting blue felt Physical center stack controls are countable on one human hand. A paltry few flush soft touch climate and audio buttons countable on one human hand and a knurled aluminum audio volume knob set in a piano black wing below the 9.0″ portrait oriented Sensus touch LCD media display. Vertical encased ventilation ducts are the only brightwork. Steering wheel buttons, door switches and tight fitting finish panels lack dazzle feel well finished. The continued theme of door panel felt matching carpeting color contributes to some youthful spontaneity.
√ Supportive, 8-way power driver/ 4-way power front passenger seats, manual knee extenders, 2-setting driver’s memory; √ Power windows w/ full express x 4; Power folding heated wing mirrors; √ 2-Zone auto climate control & remote pre-conditioning w/ auto front seat + steering wheel heating; √ 2nd Row privacy glass; √ Heated 2nd Row seats; √ Power retracting rear headrests; √ Door puddle lamps x 4; √ Panoramic tinted glass roof;
Cool Gizmo(s): √ 12.3″-inch “Progressive Digital Driver Display” TFT twin dial gauges, MFD, w/ Calm or Navi (map) modes; √ Waterproof center console retracting cover trash bin;
Details Done Right: √ Mircotech vinyl + Nubuck textile seats w/ tandem seating contrasting stitching; √ Front passenger seat back Swedish flag tag; √ Blue flooring and front center tunnel carpeting mimicked in lower door panel felt; √ Aluminum steering wheel, vent, door handle, display bezels & rotary knobs; √ “Topography” dash & door inlays w/ backlighting; √ Dashboard & door panel & footwell ambient LEDs; √ Hood mount hanging Swedish flag.
Nearly Non-Descript: -1 Ordinary plastic keyless push start & drive modes switches replace Volvo XC60 hammered metal barrels; Un-lined center armrest storage bin & glovebox; Flimsy glovebox door & uneven gap; No panorama roof sunshade.
HOW “APP” -LICABLE: √ 9.0″ vertical tablet, pane-swipe, touch LCD infotainment screen, √ Android Automotive media interface replaces Sensus; √ Rotary audio volume dial, selection, defroster & Home screen switches ; √ Voice recognition command hands-free communications w/ SMS, MMS, Email; √ 3-D HDD Google Maps navigation; √ Subscription based Sirius XM radio; √ Apple CarPlay; √ Google Automotive Apps via PlayStore; √ Qi Inductive wireless charging tray; √ USB-C x 4, 12V x 1; +1 Sensus touch script character entry has been dumped; -1 No Android Auto projection compels Android users to eventually pay for Google Automotive subscription.
Audibly: √ 13 speaker, 600 W Harman Kardon Q-Logic = boomy bass notes bias
By Subscription: Digital Services Pkg. = Google Automotive Services: Maps, Assistant + Play Store, Remote Services: Climate pre-conditioning, vehicle lock + unlock, Wi-Fi (4 years trial); √ SiriusXM satellite radio ( 90 days incl.)
HOW MUCH: $60,450 = as tested 2022 Volvo C40 Re-Charge Twin Ultimate AWD; 250 kW complimentary Electrify America DC public charging; 4 years, 50,000 miles warranty including maintenance. (No longer qualifies for Clean Vehicle U.S. tax credit, but may be eligible for state tax rebate.)
WHAT’S MISSING: Variable regenerative slowing, V2L charging, Cargo bay power port, Android Auto projection, Google Automotive Android Apps < Android Auto Apps; “Recharge Pure” nomenclature used in other markets to avoid confusion with Volvo “Recharge PHEV” model; Panoramic glass roof shade.
ANY COMPETITION: Audi Q4 E-Tron: +1 ride comfort, cabin space; Polestar 2: +1 power, adjustable Öhlins dampers; Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin: +1 fraternal twin with more usable space.
FINAL WORD: Joules juice sweetened Swede of an urban ute.