2024 Volvo C40 Recharge Pure

2024 Volvo C40 Recharge Pure

Swedes backflip; motor now in the rear to improve range and dynamics


VOLVO C40 RECHARGE


By 2026 every Volvo sold in Australia will take its power purely from a plug, and the C40 kicked off the process as the company’s first pure EV. It also injected yet more pep into the Swedes’ increasingly contemporary range. Love or loathe the dawn of the crossover coupe, the C40 appears a pretty successful execution of the idea, at least stylistically.


024 Volvo C40 Recharge Pure

This MY24 update arrives relatively early in the C40’s life, but that’s because it goes hand-in-hand with an identical update for its more practical XC40 sibling. The headline is that the cheaper single-motor versions have switched to a rear-wheel-drive layout, which would seem doolally in a purely petrol car, but it’s less of a manufacturing headache in the world of EVs.


2024 Volvo C40 Recharge Pure

The move is thanks to a new electric motor, designed and built in-house by Volvo, which sits at the rear for the sake of efficiency rather than handling, though we’re promised that’s sharpened up too. The single-motor C40 Recharge climbs from 438km to 477km of range, while the dual-motor (and all-wheel driven) version jumps by a clean 100km for a total of 550km. Both figures are a mite larger than an equivalent XC40, too, credit going to the C40’s slipperier aero profile.

The reworked C40 Recharge arrives on our shores from October 2023. Pricing is up, the single-motor car climbing $4000 to $78,990 while the AWD dual-motor version rises $5500 to $87,990 – both versions costing a couple of grand more than their equivalent XC40, too. The single-motor C40 uses a 69kWh battery capable of 135kW charging while the dual-motor car gets a new 82kWh battery – from a fresh supplier – that allows 205kW. That means topping up from 10 to 80 percent in around half an hour, nine minutes quicker than a MY23 car.

Volvo is proud to tell us that rear- wheel-drive is back on its menu after a break of 25 years. But while there’s talk of sharper handling, that’s never been the C40’s big USP anyway. In a market rich in crossover options, Volvos lean more into easygoing comfort than tenacious cornering.

2024 Volvo C40 Recharge Pure

Still, if you push this new and improved C40 hard, you’ll sense drive coming from the other end. But with layers of safety systems between you and the road, it’s no drift king, rather an incrementally more responsive car with more incisive turn-in.

The focus is more on ease of use, and the comfort and quietness inside its contemporary cabin is impressive. Just with the usual caveat of slightly firmer ride on the optional 20in wheels and slightly intrusive tyre noise given the lack of powertrain fuss to smother it. There’s enough brake regen on offer to make it a one-pedal car, too – if you wish – but the system is either ‘on’ or ‘off’ and can’t be adjusted through different levels like several of its rivals offer. Volvo has forgone the idea of drive modes entirely to keep operation of the C40 pure and simple. You can firm up the steering via a sub-menu, but we’re not really sure why you’d bother; it’s nicer in its more natural setting.

It feels easier to argue the case of the cheaper, single-motor powertrain, its 175kW output more than ample for sensible family transport. While its 7.4sec 0-100km/h time lags behind the 4.7sec of the dual-motor, the gap doesn’t feel quite so wide during typical urban driving. It’s only with sustained acceleration that the 300kW of the more potent car reveals itself – though it’s naturally good fun to uncork all of its performance every once in a while. Still, both are talented cars which manage the instant torque of their EV motors well, and the AWD traction of the dual-motor car does possess its own appeal.

But its longer range figure might prove a more obvious selling point. If you like the looks, then great – the C40 Recharge is more than talented enough to back them up. We’d just make absolutely sure that style is your priority. An equivalent XC40 will cover very similar range while offering a larger, more usefully shaped boot and a smidge more headroom. The C40 exhibits the typical crossover coupe flaw of letterbox rear visibility, too. But if the style really does it for you, there remains plentiful substance beneath it all.

Volvo is proud to tell us that rear-wheel drive is back on the menu after a break of 25 years

TECHNICAL DATA

  • Model 2024 Volvo C40 Recharge Pure
  • Motor Single (rear)
  • Battery 69kWh
  • Max power 175kW
  • Max torque 330Nm
  • Transmission Single-speed reduction gear
  • Weight 2020kg
  • Acceleration 0-62/0-100km/h 7.4sec (claimed)
  • Economy 18.5kWh/100km (estimated)
  • Price $78,990

More sveltely styled than an XC40; easy and smooth to drive; longer range than before Less practical than an XC40; and more money too; dual-motor version a touch OTT

Vegan-friendly materials are an elegant fit with the Scando-chic design

Moving the power unit to the rear of the single-motor variant adds around 40km of range; brings crisper turn-in

Article type:
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