2021 Volvo C40 Recharge unveiled – pure electric only, P8 AWD with 408 PS, 660 Nm; 420 km range

Volvo has taken the sheaths off its latest electric car, the C40 Recharge. Despite sitting on the same CMA platform as the XC40, the new crossover coupe will only be available as a pure electric car. That makes it the first Volvo model in history to be designed as a pure EV.

Speaking of firsts, the C40 is also the first to wear Volvo’s new pure electric front face, one that is exclusive only to the automaker’s EV range. While the bulk of it is familiar, it’s the grille that has been simplified.

Unlike the XC40 Recharge, the solid panel now sits flush and blends seamlessly into the curvatures of the bumper and bonnet. The lack of a “casing” helps produce cleaner air flow over and around the vehicle, though the tiny slit beneath the Iron Mark logo has been retained for cooling purposes.

The contours of the fascia are also neater compared to the electric XC40, and the inner section of the LED headlights (with state-of-the-art pixel technology) tapers upwards, creating a slightly angrier face.

Over to its profile, the C40 has a lot in common with the XC40. The side mirrors, side moulding and rear haunches are nearly identical, but that’s pretty much it for similarities. The A-pillars on the C40 Recharge are more rounded, and there are no roof rails here, all in the interest of aerodynamics (and style, for sure).

Volvo fans will welcome the return of the sloping roofline – the last model with a sloping roof (at least one with a rear hatch) was the C30. The C40 Recharge also gets a fighter jet-style roof spoiler, an integrated wing on the tailgate, as well as a new full LED taillight design. The model pictured here sits on 20-inch aero-optimised wheels shod with 255/40 profile tyres.

2021 Volvo C40 Recharge unveiled – pure electric only, P8 AWD with 408 PS, 660 Nm; 420 km range

Inside, the C40 Recharge is nearly identical to the XC40 Recharge. Customers have the option to choose from various colour themes and decor options, some of which are exclusive to the C40. However, it’s the first Volvo model to be completely leather-free, but expect man-made alternatives to be made available.

The infotainment system is the same Android-based head unit that first debuted on the XC40 Recharge. Users will get full access to the myriad of Google services and apps from the Google Play Store, including built-in features such as Google Maps and Google Assistant. To top it off, each C40 Recharge purchase comes with unlimited data, and the system supports over-the-air software updates as well.

Its electric powertrain is the same as the XC40 Recharge. The system comprises two electric motors, one powering each axle. No output figures have been released yet, but it should mirror the XC40 Recharge P8’s output of 408 PS and 660 Nm of torque. The century sprint is expected to be done in under five seconds, and of course, the top speed is limited to 180 km/h.

It also shares the same 78 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, but here it offers up to 420 km on a single charge, or 20 km more than what the XC40 Recharge was capable of at launch. Volvo says this can be marginally improved with future OTA software updates, but gains are gains nonetheless.

AC charging is done via a Type 2 connection, which takes about 7.5 hours when plugged into an 11 kW three-phase outlet. The battery can also be fast-charged via a 150 kW DC outlet (uses a CCS connection), taking just 40 minutes to charge from zero to 80%.

Now, in a bid to achieve its climate-neutral goal by 2040, Volvo said all of its electric cars can only be purchased online. This medium reduces complexity in its product offerings, and promotes transparency with fixed pricing on models and options.

2021 Volvo C40 Recharge unveiled – pure electric only, P8 AWD with 408 PS, 660 Nm; 420 km range

Company chief technology officer, Henrik Green said: “The C40 Recharge represents the future of Volvo and shows where we are going. It is fully electric, offered online only with a convenient care package and will be available for quick delivery. Getting a new Volvo was never this attractive.”

The C40 Recharge will enter production in the third quarter of this year, and will be built alongside the XC40 Recharge at the Volvo Cars manufacturing plant in Ghent, Belgium. So, what do you think of the C40 Recharge and the online-only purchasing medium? Let us know, below.