From front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive

From front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive

The battery-electric C40/XC40 was upgraded from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive and at the same time gained improved range. (Photo: Øyvind Skar)

The XC40 and C40 twins are undoubtedly Volvo’s most important models in Norway. The two are actually marketed as separate models, but with identical technology, the C is really just a coupe version of the XC40 in the same way that the RS is the coupe version of the Skoda Eniac.

From representing 47 percent of Volvo Norway’s total sales volume in 2021, this proportion for both companies has risen to more than 70 percent and rose from 6,443 cars to 9,100 cars last year. If the two had been defined by the Road Traffic Information Council as one model, they would have been the third most chosen car in the country last year after the Tesla Model Now the XC40 is “only” number five and the C40 is number 14 on the OFV list.

It’s even better this year, with the XC40 taking third and second place if included with the coupe model. So you just have to bow to Volvo’s compact car effort.

In a historical context, the XC40 is so far the 15th most chosen electric car in the country.

This explains why Volvo wants to keep the pressure on the smallest models in Norway until new, more attractive variants are unveiled in Gothenburg.

From front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive

The minimal interior changes in the 2024 versions are offset by a complete revamp of the powertrain and changes to battery chemistry that overall provide greater range.

Volvo is probably the only manufacturer in the world to switch from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive midway through the model’s lifespan.

Volvo is probably the only manufacturer in the world to switch from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive mid-model life, after 25 years of front-wheel drive/all-wheel drive only.

Without major changes to the platform, this is made possible by all-wheel drive. The engines are developed by Volvo itself, but are produced in China.

Previously, both Volvo cars were, in principle, equipped with identical engines at the front and rear, with engine power management.

More range

Starting with 2024 models, the rear motor in the standard range version produces 238 hp, linked to a net 70 kW battery pack, which increases the range in the XC40 to 464 km, about 50 km more than the outgoing model. Add 11km more in the C40 due to reduced drag.

In the Extended Range model, engine power has been increased to 252 hp, battery capacity to a net 79 kW, and range to 570 km in the XC40 and 578 km in the C40.

The all-wheel drive model has the same power as the outgoing model, 408 hp, but now with 258 hp at the rear wheels and 150 hp at the front wheels. Only the large battery pack will be available here with a WLTP range of 535km as specified.

The rear motor is permanent magnet, while the front motor is asynchronous.

– The asynchronous motor produces less friction and better consumption figures, has a boost function and is switched on only when needed, so the all-wheel drive model is also mainly driven via the rear wheels, says engine production manager Johan Andersson.

To be reused

This again means that the C40/CX40 cannot be front-wheel drive only. The driver cannot influence the power distribution. Controlled by vehicle electronics to optimize grip for comfort.

The same engines will be found in Volvo’s new flagship EX 90, which is expected to be on the road in Norway around this time next year.

It’s even better this year, with the XC40 taking third and second place if included with the coupe model. So you just have to bow to Volvo’s efforts in the compact car space

Changing the driveline also affects the weight distribution, which ranges from 54/46 to 47/53. In addition, more weight is transferred to the rear during acceleration. Carl Sandberg, responsible for vehicle dynamics, says the change in weight not only provides better driving dynamics, but also better passability on difficult roads.

200 kW by default

Increasing range is important to keep up with competitors who are constantly improving range. In addition to the increased range, the charging speed of the largest battery pack also changes from 150 to 200 kW, which means charging, under ideal conditions, from 10 to 80 percent of capacity in 28 minutes. The variable battery chemistry with the electronics made this possible.

So how do the changes work on the road?

At first, it’s only noticeable that the car settles a bit like a BMW 3 Series when pushed. Since the Forty cars have a single-pedal function as standard, the all-wheel drive, thanks to its powerful acceleration (0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds), using just one pedal, can be quite enjoyable to drive when the roads call for it.

Wool instead of leather

Volvo is able to combine sportiness with good comfort, and yes, the front seats are still among the best in its class for seating. The wool fabric that replaces the leather in the seats and door panels, combined with a relatively simple and smooth appearance, gives the sober touch that Volvo often calls Scandinavian design with a collective term.

BEV versions of the C40/XC40 are produced in both Belgium and China. Primarily, only European versions are sold in Norway.


Small change for customers, big change for Volvo – to keep the best seller alive for a few more years.

Volvo C40/XC40 recharging

C40 XC40
The price is 238 hp riyals from Cr. 502600 Cr. 488200
Price 252 hp LR from Cr. 552100 Cr. 510000
408 horsepower all-wheel drive Cr. 603200 Cr. 560000
Dimensions (L/W/H) 444/187/159 cm 444/186/165 cm
Wheelbase 270 cm 270 cm
Posterior torso 413 – 1205 litres 419 – 1328 litres
Luggage compartment in front 31 litres 31 litres
Trailer weight 1800/1500 kg 1800/1500 kg
Car weight 2065 – 2185 kg 2034 – 2170 kg
Payload 395 – 435 kg 436 – 480 kg
Warranty/km 5 years / 100,000 km 5 years / 100,000 km
Guaranteed bacteria/km 8 years / 160,000 km 8 years / 160,000 km
Ecological class a a
Source: Manufacturer/OFV

Main data

engine 0-100 mph maximum speed Energy consumption bacteria Range (WLTP) AC/DC
C40 rear wheel drive 238HK/420Nm 7.4 seconds 180 km/h 16.5 kW 73/70 kW 475 km 150/11 kW
Extended Range C40 RWD 252HK/420Nm 7.4 seconds 180 km/h 16.4 kW 82/79 kW 578 km 200/11 kW
C40 four-wheel drive 408 HK/670 Nm 4.9 seconds 180 km/h 17.4 kW 82/79 kW 547 km 200/11 kW
XC40 rear wheel drive 238HK/420Nm 7.4 seconds 180 km/h 16.8 kW 73/70 kW 464 km 150/11 kW
XC40 RWD Extended Range 252HK/420Nm 7.4 seconds 180 km/h 16.7 kW 82/79 kW 570 km 200/11 kW
XC40 four-wheel drive 408 HK/660 Nm 4.9 seconds 180 km/h 17.6 kW 82/79 kW 535 km 200/11 kW

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