The 2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge AWD goes further, faster

Development is running at a faster pace in the electric vehicle market. It’s only been two years since Volvo’s first electric car hit the market, but the XC40 Recharge has already gotten a major upgrade with the arrival of both a new rear-wheel-drive version and an upgraded dual-motor all-wheel-drive version at the top of the line-up. The same changes also apply to the lowered, slightly sleeker C40 Recharge.

We’ll review the new rear-wheel drive powertrain separately because there’s a lot to be said about the new and improved all-wheel drive version. On paper, the dual-motor differences don’t look dramatic, especially since peak power output remains unchanged at 402 horsepower. But there have been fundamental changes behind this headline number. The previous all-wheel-drive version used identical engines front and rear, but in 2024 it switched to a new 255-hp rear-drive that Volvo designed and is building in-house; This is the same unit that will power the front axle of the upcoming EX90.

Dual-motor variants get a new front motor as well, an asynchronous unit that makes a lower peak of 147 hp and is idle when the extra power or traction isn’t necessary to boost efficiency. Final EPA numbers aren’t available yet, but Volvo’s forecast for the dual-motor variant is a combined MPGe of 98, up from 85 MPGe for the ’23 model, and 106 MPGe combined for the rear-drive XC40.

US cars will continue to use the same 75.0 kWh battery as before – although we’ll likely soon follow Europe, which is upgrading to a 79.0 kWh unit. This larger battery will be standard on our single-motor version. However, even with the unchanged battery pack, Volvo expects the It is 293 miles. The marginally more elegant C40 Recharge should manage ratings of 257 and 297 miles respectively. DC fast charging remains at a peak of 150 kW for the 75.0 kWh battery, which is impressive but in reality the 79.0 kWh unit can now manage 200 kWh.

There have been a few other small changes to improve the driving experience. While the twin-engined The large vehicle mass is under tight control. Volvo says the new version weighs roughly the same as the old version, but the car has been fitted with a new rear subframe, softer springs and revised dampers. These systems are still passive and not adaptive but have new valving aimed at improving high-frequency response as well as ride quality.

As with its petrol siblings, the XC40 Recharge remains an easy car to like, but it’s not one that delivers a finely refined driving experience. The European-spec car we drove in Sweden was using Michelin CrossClimate all-season tires; Depending on wheel size, US market cars will get either a 19-inch Continental or a 20-inch Pirelli all-season tire. Dynamic safety is high, with impressive traction and a willingness to go hard without complaint, and it feels every bit as quick as the previous version. However, lateral control remains limited, and the new rear torque bias of the powertrain does little to change the basic balance of the chassis, with understeer in tight turns being easy to provoke.

The all-wheel-drive XC40 Recharge is happier when driven gently. Ride quality seems to have improved, although the roads in Sweden are almost uncannily smooth. The XC40 Recharge negotiated speed bumps with certainty and showed good body control over the few undulations we could find, though, as before, it feels distinctly heavier than its gas-powered sibling (it is, by more than 1,000 pounds ). It remains a comfortable cruiser with only a hint of the wind whispering over the front doors at highway speeds.

Unlike many competitors, the XC40 Recharge doesn’t offer many driving modes. The only switchable parameters are steering effort – with the softer setting feeling more natural – and single-pedal mode selection. This works effectively, although you cannot change the boot regeneration level.

The rest of the experience remains very close to the petrol XC40. The Recharge’s cabin is similarly spacious and appointed with a variety of interesting materials. Some of them feel more utilitarian than upscale, especially the decorative plastic bits in the dash and top of the door panels, but we liked the car’s gray cloth seats, which were much nicer to the touch than the optional leather. Luggage space is good too, with a large trunk and even a small trunk designed to accommodate charging cables.

The 2024 XC40 Recharge will arrive in the US in the second half of the year, and pricing has yet to be confirmed. As before, the car feels like a car with more power and performance than most users will ever need. It also still looks like an electric car created from a gas-engined car. With the EX90 and smaller EX30, we’ll discover just how much better battery-powered Volvos can be when grounded in a purpose-built electric architecture.

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2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge
Vehicle type: Rear or front- and rear-wheel drive, rear or four-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

price (grandfather east)
Base: $50,000; All-wheel drive, $55,000

Motors: permanent magnet AC, 248 hp, 310 lb-ft or induction AC, 147 hp, permanent magnet AC, 255 hp (combined output: 402 hp, 494 lb-ft)
Battery pack: Liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 75.0 or 79.0 kWh
Internal charger: 11.0 kW
Peak DC fast charging rate: 150 or 200 kW
Transmission, F/R: direct drive

Wheelbase: 106.4 inches
Length: 174.8 inches
Width: 73.3 inches
Height: 65.0 inches
Passenger Size, F/R: 50–52/45–46 ft3
Load size behind F/R: 58/22 feet3
Curb weight (grandfather Estimate: 4600-4800 lbs

performance (grandfather east)
60 mph: 4.3-6.6 seconds
100 mph: 10.9-13.2 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.8-15.1 seconds
Top speed: 112 mph

EPA Fuel Economy (MFR’S EST)
Combined/City/Highway: 98–106/106–118/90–95 mpg
Range: 254-293 miles

Track club
Mike Duff headshot

Chief European Correspondent

Our man across the pond, Mike Duff, lives in Britain but reports from all over Europe, and sometimes beyond. He’s previously held positions at British companies including CAR, Autocar and evo, but his own automotive tastes lean towards Germanic, having owned a teased 987-generation Porsche Cayman S and a Mercedes 190E 2.5-16.

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