Friday, July 19, 2024

2023 Volvo C40 Recharge: Electric trailblazer

Benjamin Yong Darpan, 31 Mar, 2023
  • 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge: Electric trailblazer

As Volvo continues to electrify its offerings, one of the more recent entries is the C40 Recharge that represents the first model in the lineup to be manufactured purely as an EV with no internal combustion variant. Built on the same platform as the popular XC40 Recharge but boasting a coupe-style rather than conventional roof, read on to find out what separates this derivative apart.

While both exteriors look strikingly similar from the front wearing solid panel front grilles, Thor’s Hammer-DRL-equipped LED headlights and angular front bumpers, the similarities end past the front doors. 

The C40’s roofline takes a dive as it approaches the rear giving a sportier appearance at the cost of second row headroom (there’s 440 millimetres less than the XC40) and some cargo capacity. The sliver of a rear window, a common issue of fastbacks, reduces visibility as well. Rather than boomerang-shaped taillights, here the lamps take on a sort of bent paperclip shape with the top portion meeting two black-painted spoiler fins.

Inside, the cabin is standard contemporary Volvo fare though for the first time no animal leather is used. Instead various eco-friendly materials are applied to surfaces, such as the partially recycled Fjord blue carpets and fabric door cards that really liven up the interior. Similarly, the huge fixed panoramic glass up top, surround by a cool black headliner, bathes the space in natural light. 

Like the XC40, the infotainment system consists of a large portrait-oriented nine-inch touch display running on a fairly intuitive Android OS. As opposed to select competitor vehicles in the luxury segment choosing to delete the instrument cluster, a large 12.3-inch data screen above the steering wheel displays virtual gauges in addition to a plethora of other customizable information including navigation maps and battery charge status. 

Though the C40 is a cutting-edge EV, the classic Scandinavian design doesn’t give drivers the impression they’re operating an overly futuristic automobile and may serve to ease the transition to zero-emissions motoring for certain buyers.

Two 150-kilowatt electric motors, one installed at each axle, provides propulsion rated at approximately 402 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque. No slouch in the acceleration department, the official 0 to 100 km/h time is 4.7 seconds making for a fun time behind the wheel rain or shine thanks to full-time all-wheel drive. 

A high-capacity 78-kilowatt-hour battery yields approximately 360-kilometres of range on a full charge, which takes around 10 hours at Level 2 or as little as 40 minutes (to 90 per cent capacity) if plugged in at 150-kilowatt Level 3 station. An excellent brake regeneration system utilizes kinetic energy created when slowing down to juice up the cells anytime the accelerator is released or the brake pedal is depressed, without the need to touch the shifter or tug on any paddles. 

The Volvo C40 Recharge is sold in three trims — Core, Plus and Ultimate — and starts at MSRP $59.950. Delivery times continue to be variable, impacted by global semiconductor delays, and consumers are advised to contact their local retailer for an estimate. 

Highlights (as tested)

MSRP: $74,600

Motor: dual  

Horsepower: 402 (net)

Torque (lb-ft): 487 (net)

Transmission: one-speed automatic 

Layout: front/rear motor

Fuel economy: 2.7 Le/100 km mixed city/highway (manufacturer estimate)


2023 Toyota Mirai: Making hydrogen great again

2023 Toyota Mirai: Making hydrogen great again

After a successful, ground-breaking run with the first-generation Mirai, Toyota is doubling down on a hydrogen-powered future and is introducing an all-new model. This time built on the same global GA-L rear-wheel drive underpinnings shared by the Lexus LC and LS, the environmentally-friendly four door is totally reimagined. 

Genesis Electrified G80: Zero emissions twinning

Genesis Electrified G80: Zero emissions twinning

Designers have cleverly left signature styling cues intact like the Crest Grille, which is completely solid since there’s no radiator behind to feed with fresh air. Instead, the charging port is cleverly concealed in the upper right corner behind a one-touch-open panel.

2023 Cadillac Escalade Platinum: Benchmark for full-size premium motoring

2023 Cadillac Escalade Platinum: Benchmark for full-size premium motoring

Cadillac sets a new benchmark in terms of cabin comfort and convenience. The Whisper Beige interior is beautiful, the caveat being after only half a winter of use the semi-aniline leather upholstery and carpeting was already looking worn. 

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross

The 10-way power-adjustable heated driver’s seat is comfortable and supportive and for 2023 a next-generation Toyota Multimedia infotainment system is standard showcasing an eight-inch touchscreen and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. While an improvement over the outgoing technology it’s not the most intuitive offering on the market. 

2023 Kia Sportage X-Line

2023 Kia Sportage X-Line

The Sportage, particularly in the Limited grade is more premium than expected for the segment featuring hydro-dipped wood dash trim and quilted-centre leather seating. Kia’s decision to continue using an ergonomic T-shaped shift lever is a nice touch amid a sea of rotary and button-type transmission selectors. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz C300

2023 Mercedes-Benz C300

The former grill shape is flipped 180 degrees into an appealing thinner A-shape, housing a large emblem flanked by a single chrome blade slicing through the diamond open-star pattern. One of the items the C 300 borrows from its bigger sibling is the large 11.9-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen, mounted right below the central air vents.