Volvo XC40 and C40 electrics get new motors, more horsepower, longer range


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Late last year came reports of improved versions of the Volvo XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge for Europe. Configurators over the Atlantic showed there wouldn't just be new rear-wheel-drive models, but more battery, more range, and faster charging. The Swedes have finally published the official list of updates, the tweaks even better than the reportage and websites showed.

First, the rumors are true, Volvo is back in the rear-driver game after 25 years on the sidelines. The automaker took the previous e-motors off the front axle, putting its in-house-developed, more powerful, and more efficient e-motor on the rear axle. This first use of the new e-motors bumps output from 228 horsepower to 235 horsepower in the RWD trims when combined with the 60-kWh standard range battery. That, plus cooling improvements for the pack, means the XC40 Recharge's range jumps from 425 kilometers on the WLTP cycle to 460 km (285 miles), the C40 Recharge's range going from 438 km to 476 km (296 miles). Plugged into a charger capable of at least 130 kW, refilling from 10% to 80% takes about 34 minutes.

We specified "standard range battery" because another new treat is a second RWD trim: Volvo will plug its 82-kWh battery into the powertrain for those willing to pay. But wait, there's more: The big pack powers an even juicier e-motor making 248 hp. The added gumption boosts range in the XC40 Recharge to 515 km (320 miles), in the C40 Recharge to 533 km (331 miles). And again, improved cooling permits uprated charging speed of 200 kW, cutting the run from 10% to 80% SOC to approximately 28 minutes.

Dual-motor variants make the change to asymmetric output as revealed before, giving up two 201-hp e-motors for a new 156-hp motor on the front axle and that in-house 248 hp motor on the rear. In conjunction with better cooling, the XC40 Recharge Twin Motor climbs to 500 km (311 miles) of range on a charge, a 62-km hike, the C40 Recharge Twin Motor to 507 km (315 miles), a 56-km enhancement.

Marginal gains also come from a set of more aerodynamic 19-inch wheels.

The updated twin-motor siblings are expected to enter production in May, the single-motor versions in the fall. We only get the Twin Motor models here. If our variants reflected the same range extensions as in Europe, the 14% rise for the XC40 Recharge would give our car a 255-mile range, the C40 a 12% boost to 254 miles of range.

When we asked Volvo USA last month about the December 2022 report, an automaker spokesperson responded, "We will have more details to share on the U.S. offer at a later date."

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