A MARRIAGE MADE IN MOTORING HEAVEN |
Volvo’s future is electric, and the new Volvo C40 Recharge is the most recent manifestation of Volvo’s commitment to a zero-emission future, including the advantages of electric drivetrain technology.
Following hot on the Volvo XC 40 Recharge’s heels, the all-new and all-electric C40 Recharge combines all the advantages of an SUV with those of an electric vehicle. With the added benefit of a lower and sleeker design, the C40 Recharge is based on Volvo’s new CMA vehicle platform, making it the first Volvo model in history to be designed as an electric-only car.
The rear of the C40 Recharge features a striking design with its lower roofline perfectly harmonised with the front design that heralds a new face for electric Volvos — not forgetting the “Thor’s Hammer” headlight design with state-of-the-art pixel-technology.
Inside, the C40 Recharge provides the high driver seating position preferred by most Volvo owners and is available with a range of colour- and styling options unique to the model. It is also the first Volvo model to be entirely leather-free.
Like the XC40 Recharge, the Harman Kardon infotainment system in the C40 Recharge is one of the best available and was jointly developed with Google and based on an Android operating system. It provides consumers with Google apps and built-in services, such as Google Maps, Google Assistant and the Google Play Store – a dream come true for every technophile.
The propulsion consists of twin electric motors – one on the front- and one on the rear axle – which combine to accelerate the C40 Recharge from standstill to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds, with a top speed of 180 km/h.
Powered by a 78 kWh battery, the C40 Recharge can be fast-charged to an 80% state-of-charge in approximately 40 minutes using a 150 kW rapid charger – such as the public chargers available on the Ionity network in Europe. It offers an anticipated range of around 420 km as measured by the WLTP protocol used in Europe, or 338 km using the more realistic EPA protocol used in America. Following Tesla’s lead, Volvo expects to improve the range of the C40 Recharge with over-the-air software updates. These software updates mean that the C40 Recharge will continue to improve over time, even after leaving the factory.
In another innovative turn from tradition, Volvo will offer the new C40 Recharge for online purchase only. Again, following Tesla’s lead with its revolutionary online sales strategy, Volvo Cars will invest heavily in its online sales channels to reduce complexity in its product offerings, including transparent and set pricing models. This, however, does not spell the end of Volvo’s dealership network. On the contrary, Volvo aims to build stronger customer relationships together with its dealerships, which will remain a crucial part of the customer experience and will continue to be responsible for a variety of essential services such as selling, preparing, delivering and servicing vehicles.
Care by Volvo – until recently, the name for Volvo Cars’ subscription service – will further expand into a broader customer offering aimed at increasing overall convenience. When buying an electric Volvo online, it will include a convenient care package accompanied by service, warranty, roadside assistance, insurance (where available) and home charging options.
On its flagship online store, volvocars.com, Volvo aims to further simplify the process by reducing the number of steps involved when signing up for an electric Volvo. Customers will be able to choose from a selection of attractive pre-configured electric Volvos, ready for simple and convenient ordering and quick delivery. Additional convenience and simplification include set pricing models, eliminating the need for negotiation, further increasing transparency and, in turn, building trust.
“There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine,” said Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer of Volvo Cars. “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 has never been this attractive before.”
LAUNCHING IN SOUTH AFRICA
The C40 Recharge will enter into production later this year, to be built alongside the XC40 Recharge at the Volvo Cars manufacturing plant in Ghent, Belgium. The excellent news is that both the CX40 Recharge and the C40 Recharge will make their way to local shores.
“While launch plans for the Volvo C40 Recharge in the South African market have yet to be finalised, I am pleased to announce we will be bringing the XC40 Recharge, our first all-electric car, to this country this year,” said Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director of Volvo Car South Africa. “Volvo Cars is focused on reducing the carbon emissions of both its products as well as its operations. We have placed electrification at the core of our future business. This strategy is not only about saving the planet. It is also about the customer. South Africans are increasingly demanding electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs.”
Taking its cues from traditional Scandinavian design, the new Volvo C40 Recharge retains the essence of traditional Volvo styling. Clean, simple lines and controlled surfaces, combined with classic proportions and highlighted with elements that provide striking detail, create a distinctive design that is well suited for the refinement of electric propulsion. Scandinavian design fits electric propulsion like a perfectly set diamond in a solitaire gold ring. Add to this the enhanced safety, stability and efficient yet blistering performance that accompanies electric propulsion, and you have a marriage made in motoring heaven.
Report by WILHELM LOOTS | Images © VOLVO CARS