Electric Cars
Volvo

Volvo C40 vs XC40 Recharge: How the new EV compares to its sibling

Volvo's second all-electric car is closely related to its sibling

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Volvo this week revealed its second all-electric car, called the C40, amid plans to exclusively sell electric vehicles globally by 2030.

The new C40 is due to go into production this fall and arrive with the first buyers before the end of 2021. It doesn't have a price just yet, but is likely to cost about the same as the XC40 Recharge, which starts in the US at $53,990, and a little below the $59,900 Polestar 2.

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The C40 is estimated to achieve just about the same EPA range of 210 miles (261 miles WLTP) as its XC40 Recharge relative – a figure Volvo says will increase via future software updates delivered wirelessly to the vehicle.

Calling the XC40 Recharge and C40 mere relatives is something of an understatement. Both are built upon Volvo's CMA platform that is also shared by the Polestar 2. Volvo and Polestar, as well as Lynk & Co, Lotus and the London Electric Vehicle Company, are all owned by Geely, a Chinese automotive giant.

Volvo XC40 Recharge The XC40 Recharge has a taller, more SUV-like design but shares the same platformVolvo

Despite sitting on the same platform, however, there are some key differences. The C40 debuts a new front that Volvo says will be the face of its electric vehicle range, and the rear slopes down in the style of a coupe, instead of the taller, more SUV-like XC40 recharge.

Volvo describes the new car as having "all the benefits of an SUV but with a lower and sleeker design". This change makes for a car that is three inches shorter than its sibling, but which shares a similar cabin. We think both cars look good, but the C40 is certainly the more attractive of the two thanks to its lower stance, sloping roof line and revised front end. The silhouette also isn't far from that of the Polestar 2, which shouldn't come as a surprise given how similar they are underneath.

That cabin includes the same infotainment system as the Polestar 2 and XC40 Recharge – and, in our experience, it is one of the best systems you can use today. Built in collaboration with Google, it is based on the tech giant's Android Automotive system and includes the Google Assistant for voice commands, plus native Google Maps and Spotify apps, plus the Play Store for downloading more.

The C40 features a more steeply-sloped rooflineVolvo

Volvo V40

Similarities between the two electric Volvo cars (and Polestar 2) continue with the drivetrain. All three cars have a 78kWh battery pack mounted in the floor and sending power to a pair of motors, one on each axle. A total of 402 horsepower is split equally between the two motors and the 0-60mph time is 4.7 seconds. Top speed, as with all new Volvos, is capped at 112mph.

The battery can be charged at a rate of up to 150kW, meaning a near-empty pack can be filled to 80 percent in 40 minutes, Volvo says. When connected to a regular 11kWh AC outlet an 80 percent charge takes eight hours.

Both cars (and the Polestar 2) have Google's Android Automotive infotainment systemVolvo

Volvo has some big plans for the electrification of its range, and as we reported yesterday it wants to only sell fully-electric cars by 2030. But, while the new C40 is certainly a handsome thing that is likely to drive well and have a top-notch infotainment system, its 210 range isn't much to write home about, and it really is just a small redesign of the existing XC40 Recharge.

We're looking forward to seeing what else Volvo has up its sleeve, as teased by the above image earlier this week. All of those covered vehicles are due to be revealed in the first half of this decade, and hopefully they will offer more diversity than the XC40/C40 siblings.

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