Evolution works at a sooner tempo within the EV market. It is solely two years since Volvo’s first EV hit the market, however the XC40 Recharge is already getting a considerable improve with the arrival of each a brand new rear-wheel-drive model and an upgraded dual-motor all-wheel-drive model on the prime of the lineup. The identical modifications are additionally being utilized to the marginally sleeker low-roofed C40 Recharge.
We are going to assessment the brand new rear-drive powertrain individually as a result of there’s lots to say concerning the new, improved AWD model. On paper, the variations to the twin motor do not look dramatic, particularly as its peak energy output stays unchanged at 402 horsepower. However there have been substantive modifications behind that headline determine. The earlier all-wheel-drive model used equivalent motors entrance and rear, however for 2024 it switches to a brand new 255-hp rear motor that Volvo has designed and is constructing in-house; this is similar unit that may energy the entrance axle of the upcoming EX90.
Twin-motor variants get a brand new entrance motor as effectively, an asynchronous unit that makes a lesser peak of 147 horsepower and is idled when the extra energy or traction is not obligatory to spice up effectivity. Last EPA numbers aren’t but obtainable, however Volvo’s prediction for the dual-motor variant is for a mixed MPGe of 98, up from 85 MPGe for the ’23 mannequin, and 106 MPGe mixed for the rear-motor XC40.
U.S. automobiles will proceed to make use of the identical 75.0-kWh battery as earlier than—though it’s probably we’ll quickly comply with Europe, which is upgrading to a 79.0-kWh unit. That bigger battery will probably be commonplace in our single-motor model. But even with that unchanged battery pack, Volvo predicts the XC40 AWD Recharge will be capable to get 254 miles of EPA vary, in comparison with 223 for the outgoing automobile, whereas the anticipated vary for the single-motor automobile is 293 miles. The marginally sleeker C40 Recharge ought to handle rankings of 257 and 297 miles, respectively. DC fast-charging stays at a peak of 150 kilowatts for the 75.0-kWh battery, which is spectacular however for the actual fact the 79.0-kWh unit can now handle 200 kilowatts.
There have been another small modifications to sharpen the driving expertise. Whereas the dual-motor XC40 Recharge has at all times been nearly comedically fast given its mission in life—our 4.3-second 60-mph time made it among the many quickest Volvos we had examined at that time—it additionally had a chassis that struggled with the problem of retaining the automobile’s appreciable mass beneath tight management. Volvo says that the brand new model weighs nearly precisely the identical because the previous one, however the automobile has been given a brand new rear subframe, softer springs, and revised dampers. These are nonetheless passive moderately than adaptive however have new valving supposed to enhance high-frequency response and likewise experience high quality.
As with its gasoline-powered siblings, the XC40 Recharge stays a simple automobile to love, however not one which delivers a finely honed driving expertise. The European-spec automobile we drove in Sweden rode on Michelin CrossClimate all-season tires; relying on wheel measurement, U.S. market automobiles will get both 19-inch Continental or 20-inch Pirelli all-seasons. Dynamic safety is excessive, with spectacular traction and a willingness to launch arduous with out criticism—and it feels each bit as fast because the earlier model did. But lateral grip stays restricted, and the powertrain’s new rearward torque bias has performed little to change the elemental chassis stability, with understeer simply provoked in tight corners.
The all-wheel-drive XC40 Recharge feels far happier pushed gently. Trip high quality does appear to have improved, though with the proviso that Sweden’s roads are nearly freakishly clean. The XC40 Recharge rode out velocity bumps assuredly and confirmed good physique management over the few undulations we might discover, though, as earlier than, it feels clearly heavier than its gas-powered sibling (and it’s, by greater than 1000 kilos). It stays a relaxed cruiser with solely the trace of wind whisper from the tops of the entrance doorways at freeway speeds.
In contrast to many rivals, the XC40 Recharge does not supply a large number of drive modes. The one switchable parameters are for steering effort—with the softer setting undoubtedly feeling extra pure—and choosing a one-pedal mode. This works successfully, though with out the power to differ the extent of liftoff regen.
The remainder of the expertise stays very near the gasoline XC40. The Recharge’s cabin is equally spacious and completed in a wide range of fascinating supplies. A few of these really feel extra utilitarian than upmarket, particularly the textured plastic items within the sprint and on prime of the door panels, however we liked our pattern automobile’s grey fabric cloth seats, which had been a lot nicer to the contact than the non-obligatory leather-based. Baggage area is nice, too, with a beneficiant trunk and even a compact frunk designed to accommodate charging cables.
The 2024 XC40 Recharge will probably be reaching the U.S. within the second half of the 12 months, and pricing shouldn’t be but confirmed. As earlier than, it looks like a automobile with extra energy and efficiency than most customers are prone to want. It additionally nonetheless looks like an EV that has been created from a gas-engine automobile. With the EX90 and the smaller EX30, we’ll get to find how significantly better a battery-powered Volvo could be when it sits on a purpose-built electrical structure.
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge
Automobile Kind: rear- or front- and rear-motor, rear- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE (C/D EST)
Base: $50,000; AWD, $55,000
Motors: permanent-magnet AC, 248 hp, 310 lb-ft or induction AC, 147 hp and permanent-magnet AC, 255 hp (mixed output: 402 hp, 494 lb-ft)
Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 75.0 or 79.0 kWh
Onboard Charger: 11.0 kW
Peak DC Quick-Cost Charge: 150 or 200 kW
Transmissions, F/R: direct-drive
Wheelbase: 106.4 in
Size: 174.8 in
Width: 73.3 in
Top: 65.0 in
Passenger Quantity, F/R: 50–52/45–46 ft3
Cargo Quantity, Behind F/R: 58/22 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 4600–4800 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 4.3–6.6 sec
100 mph: 10.9–13.2 sec
1/4-Mile: 12.8–15.1 sec
High Pace: 112 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (MFR’S EST)
Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 98–106/106–118/90–95 MPGe
Vary: 254–293 mi
Mike Duff has been writing concerning the auto trade for 20 years and calls the UK house, though he usually lives life on the street. He loves previous automobiles and journey in unlikely locations, with profession highlights together with driving to Chernobyl in a Lada.