11:00 PM | January 15 2021
Fully electric Volvo XC40 draws praise from international experts
Ahead of its Australian arrival in the second half of 2021, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric has garnered strong praise from global motoring experts.
The first ever fully electric vehicle from Volvo Cars will go on sale in Australia during the second half of 2021, and the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric has already made a strong impression with international motoring experts.
This new, flagship version of the award-winning XC40 compact luxury SUV employs a state-of-the-art, fully electric all-wheel-drive powertrain that offers a range of more than 400km (WLTP) on a single charge and a power output of 300kW.
The battery charges to 80 per cent of its capacity in 40 minutes on a fast-charger system.
Leading automotive websites and magazines in the UK and United States, where the model has been released, shared their enthusiasm for the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric’s performance.
“Volvo claims the all-electric XC40 will zip from 0-60mph (0-97km/h) in just 4.7 seconds … and it feels every bit as quick as that on the road, whooshing past slower traffic in one effortless, silent surge of acceleration, and leaping out of tight corners on a tidal wave of torque and AWD traction,” wrote North America’s Motor Trend.
“Acceleration is mega: the [0-100km/h] sprint is dispatched in 4.9 seconds,” said the UK’s popular What Car. “Even by the rapid standards of electric cars, that's swift. The XC40's electric motors whisk you along in calming quiet, though.”
The UK’s world-famous Top Gear noted how the electric XC40 matched its noteworthy acceleration to excellent handling.
“So, yes, the XC40 P8 is deliciously rapid. But again, as with its Polestar cousin it’s also well-mannered with it, sling-shotting you out of corners or exiting roundabouts in a way that really is as amusing as it is addictive. Better than that, though, is the control it displays, both in terms of managing its considerable weight but also in terms of traction.
“At which point you’ll notice how beautifully damped it is, how well-resolved its ride quality overall is, and the entirely grown-up manner in which it erases the shoddy surfaces that can trip up cars from some of the industry’s biggest and most luxurious guns.
“Naturally, the powertrain is largely silent, but there’s discernible character here, too. Maybe electrification suits Volvo’s generally more sustainable, human-oriented philosophy. Whatever it is, this is a fantastic car to drive, particularly for a crossover/SUV with an unpromising centre of gravity.”
It isn’t only car reviewers that have praised Volvo’s most advanced XC40 yet. Technology website CNET said the Recharge Pure Electric proved there was no need to miss conventional powertrains, especially in terms of enhanced refinement.
“Despite the new performance, the XC40 Recharge gives up nothing when it comes to comfort. This XC40 feels premium inside and out, with a polished ride quality that just seems all the more refined thanks to the absence of internal combustion.”
CNET was among several reviews to appreciate the model’s “one pedal” driving capability, where regenerative braking can help slow the vehicle without the need to apply the brake pedal.
The Recharge Pure Electric is based on the same advanced Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) as the rest of the XC40 range, which has been widely lauded by motoring critics.
Those testing the electric variant were impressed that it didn’t compromise either interior or luggage space.
“...The electric conversion [hasn’t] denuded the XC40 of its luggage toting ability,” said Top Gear. “It has 413 litres of boot space, 47 less than the standard car, but gains an extra bit of storage in the form of a 31-litre frunk [at the front of the vehicle].”
Motor Trend said the cabin felt as roomy as the regular XC40 despite the battery pack under the floor.
What Car found a wide range of positives for the interior beyond practicality.
“The front seats are some of the best you’ll find, and the driver's seat has electric adjustment, which includes the tilt, height and the four-way variable lumbar support.
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“A digital instrument panel is standard, and the screen is higher resolution than the screen in other XC40s, so it's crisper, clearer and very easy to read.
“Volvo is tough to beat when it comes to interior quality. Pretty much anything you touch in any XC40 feels ready to stand the test of time and the rigours of daily family use, yet is also elegant and plush.
“The great mix of high-quality plastics, metal inlays and leather really gives the Recharge Pure Electric plenty of premium panache.”
The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is the first Volvo to feature a brand new infotainment system powered by Google’s Android operating system, and CNET is a “big fan”.
“The layout looks the same as on the regular XC40, but now Android Automotive is calling the shots. This takes a lot of what's great about Android Auto but makes it standalone. If you're a Google user, all your contacts, your calendar appointments, your saved addresses and even your playlists just magically appear after you sign in. It is wonderful.”
In various review summaries, however, it was clear that experts found vast appeal in the full package of Volvo Cars’ first ever fully electric vehicle.
“The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric has an appealing interior, a decent electric range, rapid performance and impressive safety credentials,” said What Car in its verdict.
AutoExpress said: “The XC40 EV is a beautifully engineered creation with excellent performance, decent range, exceptional refinement and no compromise on practicality compared with regular versions. Android Automotive feels like a worthy upgrade, too.”
Last but certainly not least, Top Gear was prompted to score the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 9/10.
“In battery-electric guise the XC40’s worthier attributes – the thoughtful packaging, sense of well-being and design – are augmented by a remarkable new turn of speed and handling smarts. [The Recharge Pure Electric] makes an almost irresistible case for electrification.”
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