In the automotive world, Volvo has always stood out as an emblem of trustworthiness. It’s been synonymous with safety – like a speed cap at 180 kph and 3-point seatbelts for every passenger – and the firm has also committed to sustainability in a big way, having announced that it will go all-electric by 2030 and carbon neutral by 2040. The C40 Recharge is part of its Born-EV plan, and it’s the first of its kind to be introduced in India.
At first glance, its proportions are reminiscent of the XC40, appearing as if Volvo has ingeniously concealed a lightning bolt beneath its sleek exterior, (albeit in a Sportback avatar). The styling is a cohesive continuation of the Volvo family’s design ethos, infused with aero-centric elements like the spoiler, seamlessly integrated into the boot door. Its design strikes a good balance between sophistication and exuberance — it’s not flashy, but it certainly captures attention as it flashes past.
The interior receives a sophisticated upgrade, notably a 12.3-inch digital display similar to the XC40 Recharge. In a nod to its electrified nature, the battery percentage can be seen on both the instrument panel and the 9-inch infotainment screen. The infotainment system operates with a Google interface, complete with an embedded SIM. Similar to personalising your Android phone, the system syncs with your Google account, allowing you to configure settings according to your preferences (notably absent, however, isAndroid Auto). While wired Apple CarPlay extends a hand, the absence of wireless connectivity for both Apple and Android devices is very odd – these are bare-basic features these days.
Passengers at the back will have very comfortable seats that envelop them in a cocoon of relaxation. However, the transmission tunnel encroaches on space, impacting legroom and thus requiring occasional posture adjustments. The sloping Sportback roof, though aesthetically pleasing, also limits headroom for taller passengers. The seats, by the way, are 100 per cent leather-free, and components like the side panels and carpets have recycled materials in them. The sonic ambience is delivered by a superb 600-watt, 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, which audiophiles will appreciate.
With 402 bhp on tap, complemented by a two-motor permanent all-wheel-drive system distributing power at a 40:60 ratio between the front and rear wheels, acceleration is an exhilarating experience, pinning you back in your seat. No complaints in this department whatsoever.
On challenging Indian roads, notorious for being obstacle courses, the C40 Recharge’s suspension performs well, gracefully navigating pothole-ridden landscapes. It’s plush and exceptionally well-damped, thanks to no small part of the weight of the battery. The suspension collaborates seamlessly with a steering that weighs up well at higher speeds, a quality you’ll appreciate while attacking corners in hilly terrain. There’s also plenty of grip on offer, which is confidence-inspiring. The single-pedal drive system (where you turn up the braking regeneration) means you simply slot the gear and drive, experiencing acceleration, deceleration, and complete halts with just one pedal; a boon for jam-packed city traffic.
Volvo integrates a Level 3 Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) into the C40 Recharge, including Lane Keeping Aid, Oncoming Lane Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control as part of the suite; it also has a 5-star Euro NCAP rating.
With an estimated range of 530 km on the WLTP cycle, the C40 Recharge offers the prospect of worry-free long-distance driving. A 150 kW fast charger gets the battery from 10 to 80 per cent in 27 minutes, while an 11 kW AC charger – your daily ally – is provided with the car.
With competition like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, the C40 Recharge needs to be priced competitively in order to make headway; September 4th is when its price will be announced. It will be available in one variant— E80—and with six colour options. With the XC40 Recharge priced at Rs 57 lakh, we expect it to be priced at a slight premium, in the Rs 60 lakh bracket. For that money, you get an EV crafted from scratch to harness electric motors, so it’s the real deal for someone seeking a dependable luxury EV that’s both fun and comfortable to drive.
AUTODATAVolvo C40 Recharge E80
Charging Time (150kW Charger):
530 km (WLTP)
10~80 per cent - 27 Minutes
F/R: 235/50 R19
Rs 60 Lakh (expected ex-showroom)