Volvo C40 Recharge: Stylish new EV can only be bought online

  • first details of the electric-only Volvo C40 Recharge
  • New five-door family car claims 260-mile range
  • Production starts in autumn 2021

Volvo C40 SUV (2021) front view

Volvo has just added a new variant to its small car range: the C40 Recharge Coupe-SUV. The new model is part of Volvo’s commitment to fully electrify its range by 2030.

It’s also the first C-badged Volvo in quite some time, with the last cars bearing that nameplate being the interesting C30 hatch and stylish C70 coupe. As you’d expect, the new C40 shares a lot in common with the existing XC40 Recharge.

> Revealed: Best new cars to look forward to in 2021

While the footprint and face of the C40 is very much the same as the XC40, the roofline and rear is where the biggest visual change lies. Redesigned LED light signatures stretch up the C-pillars, with the rear window blending into the black roof on the pictured model. The roofline is around 50mm lower than that of the XC40.

What's under the skin of the C40 Recharge?

There’s a 78kWh battery, two electric motors (one on each axle) for 408hp and all-wheel drive power, with Volvo claiming a range of 260 miles. Volvo says the C40 can be charged up to 80% in 40 minutes with a public rapid charger.

The XC40 Recharge, by comparison, now also has the same claimed range figure, after Volvo rolled out the first over-the-air update – refreshing the car’s battery management software – with promises of more updates to come.

Volvo C40 SUV (2021) badge

Inside, the C40 be just like an XC40 with a well-made, clean interior, complete with a massive central portrait screen. That screen features the brand’s Android-based operating system that debuted on the Polestar 2. Each car comes with unlimited mobile data, too, to host those regular over-the-air updates.

Online sales only for C40 Recharge

Don’t expect to see a demonstrator at your local dealer. In a push to make its online buying system front and centre, you can only buy a C40 online. Don’t expect a wide variety of trim levels, either – Volvo is aiming to slim down its options for buyers to make the buying process easier.

You can also buy one as part of the brand’s Care by Volvo subscription service, which includes servicing, warranty, roadside assistance, insurance and home charging options.

What this means for you

Volvo says the C40 Recharge will go into production in the autumn of 2021, so expect to see them on the roads in the UK toward the end of the year. It will be entering a sector of the market that doesn't currently have that much choice, but which will be getting much more crowded by the end of 2021.

Buying online only will be interesting when rivals such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Audi E-Tron Sportback are readily available from their respective dealer networks. Being offered on the Care by Volvo subscription scheme is also (currently) a unique selling point for the C40.

Further reading

>> Best electric cars to buy in the UK
>> Best SUVs 2021
>> Best small SUVs 2021
>> Used Volvos for sale

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Volvo C40 SUV (2021) rear view