Volvo introduced the XC40 in 2017 and became an instant hit in the carmaker's portfolio, even though it was offered with internal combustion engines. But that was changed over the years.
In 2021, the carmaker introduced a facelift for the crossover and gave the XC40 Recharge an all-electric powertrain.
From the outside, the overall shape was kept, but there were some changes here and there. For starters, the grille's place was taken by a curved panel since there was no need for a large cooling area. It was flanked by the two headlights featuring the Thor hammer design for the DRL. As expected, the car received LED lights for everything, thus reducing energy consumption while also improving lighting efficiency. At the back, the flared wheel arches and the specific Volvo taillights remained virtually unchanged. The charging port was mounted on the left rear fender.
On the interior, the carmaker understood that it had to offer a premium experience and installed high-quality upholstery. But just to keep the things on the right side, the upholstery was made from sustainable materials and no real-leather skin on the seats or door cards. The center stack sported the infotainment display powered by Android, which promised a better end-user experience.
For the drivetrain, Volvo installed an all-electric powertrain fed by a 68 kWh battery pack, which allowed it for a 270 miles (434 km) range.
The Volvo XC40 Recharge represents the Swedish carmaker's first fully electric vehicle and has the role of opening the way for many more electric vehicles that will represent Volvo's portfolio.
It is based on the small XC40 SUV launched in 2017 by Volvo. The electrification of the model is possible because the original SUV is built on a modular vehicle architecture meant to accommodate a battery pack and an electric motor.
The Recharge lineup consists of Volvo's fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles based on the constructor's conventional models. The XC40 represents only the tip of the iceberg that Volvo announces its electric vehicle fleet will be, as the automaker expects that 50 percent of its total vehicle sales by 2025 to consist of electric vehicles.
Instead of the traditional diesel or gasoline engines, the new XC40 Recharge has a fully electric powertrain that provides a power output of 408 hp ( 413 Ps) and enables all-wheel drive.
Although the battery doesn't have a chassis built around it to fully enable it to have a more significant proportion, the modularity of the XC40 enabled the installation of a more than capable battery in the existing space. It offers a range of over 248 miles (400 km), representing a decent range even when using the SUV outside the urban area.
Paired with the constantly growing charging infrastructure, the Volvo can obtain impressive charging times when connected to the right source. For an 80 percent battery charge at a fast-charging station, the vehicle needs to stay plugged in for about 40 minutes.
Although there are no significant changes to the body, the front of the car features a specific front grille covered in the same body color, establishing a noticeable and unique appearance. This design element is made possible due to the reduced requirement for air flow in electric cars, as they require less cooling.
Additionally, the grille serves a functional purpose by housing the sensors for the innovative Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensor platform in a compact and organized manner.
Customers can personalize their electric XC40 with a selection of eight exterior colors, including a Sage Green metallic option that pairs well with the contrasting black roof. Furthermore, two new 19 and 20-inch wheels are available as an option.
The vehicle is the first from the Volvo group to have an infotainment system powered by Google's Android operating system. The model will provide information related to the electric part of the car, such as battery percentage and time spent driving since the last charge.
Based on the initial approach, Volvo can reach its goal of becoming a climate-neutral company by 2040. The XC40 Recharge shows that the electrification process can be implemented on an already-built foundation if the steps are taken correctly.
In 2017, Volvo successfully launched its smallest SUV: the XC40. The Swedish car-manufacturer decided to launch its small SUV in Milan, Italy, considered to be the world's fashion capital.
The new model was jointly developed with Geely, the Chinese brand that owns Volvo Car Company. The new Volvo XC40 was the first model on Volvo Cars' new modular vehicle architecture (CMA), which was also used for other new, electrified, vehicles.
On the outside, there are some lines that might remember of those found in older Volvo models, with straight lines and flat surfaces. The compact size was important in the battle against its main rivals such as the Audi Q3 or the BMW X3. It was Volvo's intelligent Swedish design that made it look different.
Inside, due to an unusually long wheelbase for its compact size, it could accommodate up to five passengers. The dashboard was covered with expensive materials, with a soft touch. The driver got a standard digital display for the instrument cluster and a big, portrait-type, touch-screen for the infotainment system.
For the engine compartment, the XC 40 was available from the beginning with three gasoline choices and two diesel. A plug-in hybrid came later, in 2019 and it was followed by a full-electric model afterward. The base trim models featured a 6-speed manual transmission, although on the upper trim levels an automatic was available. Some versions were available with an all-wheel-drive system.