by Jay Traugott
The same day Volvo announced its intention to become an electric vehicle-only automaker by 2030 it also revealed its latest EV crossover. Introducing the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge, a coupe body style version of the XC40 Recharge. Like all coupe SUVs, the C40 Recharge has many of the same benefits as a conventional SUV but with a sleeker and lower design. It's more of a lifestyle vehicle segment that's proven to be wildly successful for German automakers like BMW and Mercedes.
Volvo's EV SUV expansion is far from over, but the C40 Recharge is currently taking center stage. Unlike the XC40 Recharge, which is also available with a conventional combustion engine and simply called XC40, the C40 Recharge is the first Volvo to be designed as an EV from the get-go. That fact alone places the vehicle in a unique position within the Swedish automaker's nearly century-long history.
Although it rides on the same CMA platform as the XC40 Recharge, the C40 has a completely unique exterior. Its coupe-like styling comes by way of a lower roofline that tapers more directly into the rear end. The taillights are integrated into the sides of the tailgate and a small spoiler has been added for both aesthetic and aerodynamic purposes. The front-end design is new and different from that of the XC40. In fact, the C40 introduces a new face for fully electrified Volvos and we wouldn't be surprised to see this styling continue for future models.
Volvo says the headlights feature state-of-the-art pixel technology. Additional notable styling characteristics include the chiseled lines throughout the body, especially on the sides. The front and rear doors have an angled concave appearance, for example. The black roof and black lower section provide a nice contrast against the chosen paint color. So far, Volvo has only revealed a single wheel design, pictured here, but we expect buyers to have additional choices. As for paint, seven hues are offered in the US, including Fjord Blue, Silver Dawn, Crystal White, Sage Green, Thunder Grey, Black Stone, and the vivid Fusion Red.
If you're a fan of the XC40 Recharge's interior, then you're in luck here. The C40's interior design is nearly identical, such as the dashboard layout and center console. Because it's more of a niche model for those who favor style above all else, the C40 Recharge will be offered with a range of color and deco options. Eco-conscious and animal-loving customers will be thrilled to know this is the first Volvo ever to be completely leather-free.
The C40 Recharge will come standard with the same Android operating system-based infotainment system found in the XC40 Recharge. This system was co-developed with Google and is packed with many apps and services, including Google Maps, Google Assistant, and the Google Play Store. Owners will also benefit from regular over-the-air software updates.
Volvo did not provide precise interior dimensions, but like with all SUV to SUV coupe conversions, rear passenger headroom and cargo space always take a hit. It's reasonable to assume that's the case here as well.
The C40 Recharge is powered by twin electric motors, one at each axle. They receive their juice from a 78 kWh battery, which is marginally larger than the XC40 Recharge's 75 kWh pack, and can receive an 80 percent fast charge in just 40 minutes. Home charging will naturally take longer and a 240-volt outlet will take up to 25 miles per hour. Volvo estimates a 261-mile range on the WLTP cycle, so figure about 210 miles when it goes through EPA testing, but adds that this figure will improve with future over-the-air updates.
Total output should be about the same as that of the XC40 Recharge's 402 horsepower and 486 lb-ft of torque. Zero to 60 mph takes a claimed 4.7 seconds.
The 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge will be sold online only as part of the automaker's also newly announced simplified model packaging structure. Pricing has not yet been announced but it will probably cost more than the XC40 Recharge's $53,990 starting price. State and federal tax incentives will help bring down the final cost.
C40 Recharge buyers further benefit from the Care by Volvo package that includes service, warranty, roadside assistance, home charging options, and even insurance into a single bundle. Production is due to begin this fall in Sweden alongside the XC40 Recharge. US market deliveries should get underway by next winter.
The all-electric crossover competition in this segment typically includes the Tesla Model Y and the Volkswagen ID.4, though both are classified as conventional SUV crossovers, not crossover coupes. For the time being, the C40 Recharge owns the crossover coupe EV segment. In the near future, however, the Audi Q4 e-tron will debut and provide some competition.
Check out some informative Volvo C40 Recharge video reviews below.