Volvo C40 Recharge

Twin Ultimate

Volvo C40 Recharge, 2023, front
Volvo C40 Recharge, 2023, front, action
Volvo C40 Recharge, 2023, nose
Volvo C40 Recharge, 2023, side, action
Volvo C40 Recharge, 2023, boot
Volvo C40 Recharge, 2023, interior
Volvo C40 Recharge, 2023, rear
Volvo C40 Recharge, 2023, boot, maximum

MY first date with Volvo's C40 didn't go that well. A small electrical fault meant I was stranded at one of just two local charging points - much to the ire of those pulling up to use one.

And, if you are looking at buying an electric vehicle, it's probably just worth looking up at what happens should it grind to a halt. It involves an impressive robot sleigh thingy and lots of patience. Lots.

However, despite those early, disappointing fumblings, we set up a second date. I'm happy to report that was much more successful.

Now, there are several different versions of the C40 - all 100 per cent electric. There's even two rear-wheel-drive variants - the first time in 25 years that Volvo has offered a rear-wheel-drive product - as well as the revised all-wheel-drive model featured here.

This comes with a larger 82kWh battery coupled with a 150bhp electric motor on the front axle and a 258bhp electric motor on the rear. Range has been boosted to up to 342 miles for the C40 Recharge Twin.

With all that instantaneous electric power, it's quite a beast too, producing 408bhp and a huge 660Nm of torque.

The 0-62mph time is 4.7 seconds, but it feels almost supercar quick due to that instant delivery of torque from the electric motors. If it's your bag, a lot of sports car drivers will be embarrassed if you want to leave them standing at the lights.

Unusually, there's no starter button, because you quite literally start the C40 up with your bum/bottom/posterior. The C40 is ready to drive from the moment that part of your anatomy is in the seat.

Hopefully, someone at the dealers will point that out to save a lot of panicking.

On the road, the C40 is a delight, extremely comfortable, easy and calm to drive whatever surface you're on - despite the 20-inch diamond-cut five-spoke alloys - and whether you're on a motorway or pootling around town.

Notably, the C40 Recharge has an optional one-pedal driving mode, which uses regenerative braking to slow the car down as you lift your foot off the accelerator. It's a more energy-efficient way of driving and extends the car's range.

Because of its ‘Coupe-SUV' boot space is 413 litres, and the sloping roofline will be felt by taller rear seat occupant, although leg room is good. Again, because of the design, the view out of the heavily raked rear screen is poor.

That said, the C40's interior is virtually identical to the XC40, which means it's absolutely top-notch, full of premium touches and quality-feeling materials. It's a nice place to be.

It's dominated by a nine-inch, portrait-style touchscreen which features Volvo's latest Google-based infotainment system, so apps such as Google Maps and Spotify are standard. The graphics are crisp, and it's very slick and easy to use. Volvo has also added Apple CarPlay connectivity.

In a nice touch, the C40 has dash inserts inspired by a topographical map of the Abisko National Park in Sweden, which stylishly light up in different shades of grey at night.

Naturally, as it's a Volvo, there's masses of driver assistance technology and system so the C40 will do everything it can to keep you and your family safe.

FAST FACTS

Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate

Price:£47,100

Mechanical:408bhp, electric engine driving all four wheels via an automatic transmission

Max Speed:112 mph

0-62mph: 4.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 342 miles

Insurance Group:42

C02 emissions:0g/km

Bik rating:2%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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