With the electric C40, Volvo continues its march forward

In a car market at mid-staff, where some manufacturers are beginning to seriously worry about their future, Volvo shows an enviable serenity. In ten years, the brand has slowly but surely found its place in the hotly contested category of premium brands. The Swedish manufacturer, very concerned about safety – an essential area, but which no longer makes its difference heard, given the advance of the competition – has added other strings to its bow. A reassuring and less ostentatious approach to automotive luxury than its German rivals, but also an environmental discourse in keeping with its Scandinavian origins, a stance that will win over its fans. A very subjective strong point, but a strong point nonetheless.

Determined to accelerate its conversion to full electric, Volvo promises to achieve half of its sales by 2025, well spread between China, the United States and Europe, with “zero emission” vehicles and all of them by 2030. The XC40 Recharge, the The brand It has just marketed a second fully electric model, the C40 Recharge.

read also Volvo XC40, Scandinavian and unapologetic

Distinctive signs: no grille and, above all, an SUV coupé profile, characterized by a receding rear line. Very popular in recent car production, this way of making SUVs less massive and more dynamic does not always lead to particularly harmonious creations. Admittedly, the designers of the C40 were quite lucky, although this model is not very slim. We also point out that the steep drop in the roof line does not affect the space available in the rear seats.

Too bad this model was designed on a platform originally intended for thermal models. We will have to settle, therefore, for a satisfactory habitability -but a little frustrating in view of a vehicle 4.44 meters long-, the presence of a cumbersome and useless transmission tunnel, and a barely adequate trunk volume ( batteries must be adequately housed). Despite everything, the C40 Recharge can be driven docilely, without its almost 2.2 tons for the heaviest version being too insistently reminded of our good memories. The deceleration energy recovery system allows smooth driving, practically never having to depress the brake pedal.

Impressive power levels

The version with an engine on each axis develops 408 horsepower, which seems almost out of place. Such impressive performance (0-100km/h can be done in 5 seconds) is out of step with the general philosophy of this vehicle intended for leisurely touring rather than racing. This is one of the excesses of high-end electric cars, which throw impressive power levels in the customer’s face under the pretext that, under the magic wand of the Fairy of Electricity, it is easy to accumulate kilowatts. At the expense of autonomy.

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