New Volvo C40 Recharge: all-electric coupe SUV can only be bought online

Published: 02 March 2021

► Electric-only Volvo C40 SUV
► Coupe crossover claims 260 miles
► Production starts in autumn 2021

Volvo has just added a new variant to its small car range: the C40 Recharge coupe-SUV. Gone is the day of the Swedish hatchback – your entry requirement into Volvo ownership is now crossover-shaped only. The new model is part of Volvo’s commitment to going fully electric by 2030.

It’s also the return of the ‘C’ nomenclature, the last cars bearing that nameplate being the wacky C30 hatch and C70 coupe. As you’d expect, the new C40 has a lot in common with the XC40 Recharge.

The Volvo coupe returns!

But in a very 21st Century way. If it’s not an SUV, it won’t sell.

Volvo C40 side profile

While the footprint and face of the C40 are very much the same as the XC40 Recharge, the roofline and rear get significant visual changes. Redesigned LED light signatures stretch up the C-pillars, with the rear window blending into the black roof on the pictured model. The roofline is around 50mm lower than that of the XC40.

How much tech is shared with the XC40?

Pretty much everything, really – making this bit of news quite easy to write, frankly. There’s a 78kWh battery, twin e-motors (one on each axle) for 402bhp, all-wheel drive and a claimed range of 260 miles. The XC40 Recharge now also has the same claimed range figure, after Volvo rolled out the first over-the-air update – refreshing the car’s battery management software – with promises of more updates to come. Volvo says the C40 can be charged up to 80% in 40 minutes.

C40 front tracking

Android Automotive OS: does it work?

Inside, it’ll be just like an XC40 – ie very well made, with a massive central portrait screen – and features the Android-based operating system that debuted on the Polestar 2. Each car comes with unlimited cellular data, too, to host those over-the-air updates.

How do I buy one?

In a push to make its online buying system front and centre, you can technically only buy a C40 online. There'll still be demos at dealers for you to get a tangible taste of the new model before you say 'yes' to it, if you like, but the car's transaction will still be dealt with online. Don’t expect tonnes of trim levels – Volvo is aiming to slim down its spec options for buyers.

What is Care by Volvo?

You can also buy one as part of the brand’s Care by Volvo subscription service, which includes servicing, warranty, roadside assistance, insurance and home charging options.

When can I buy one?

Volvo says the C40 will go into production in the autumn of 2021, so expect to see them on the roads toward the end of the year.

volvo c40 badge

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By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches