At the rate of one new model per year, Volvo will have five electric vehicles in 2025. With this zero-emission range, the Swedish manufacturer aims at that date to achieve 50% of its volumes and reduce the carbon footprint of the vehicle by 40%. life cycle of its cars. Developed from the XC40 SUV voted Car of the Year in 2018, the first model of this new family arrives at the end of the year on our roads. The closed grille painted in the color of the bodywork and discreet badges are the only elements that distinguish the Recharge P8 AWD version from models with a combustion engine.
Inside, the differences are just as minimal and only visible when the system is powered on. The new interface was developed with Google. Its operating system running on Android makes it possible to take advantage of Google Assistant voice control, Google Maps and remote updates. Next year, new features will ensure the unlocking and starting of the vehicle via the smartphone, as well as the transfer of the digital key to a third party, your spouse or your children.
After a few adaptations to the battery placed under the floor, engineers were able to preserve the XC40's livability. The loss of 47 liters (413 liters) of trunk capacity is largely offset by the provision of 31 liters of space under the front hood. The latter easily accommodates the two charging cables provided, the 10 A one for connecting to a household outlet and the other for a wallbox, unfortunately limited to 16 A (3.7 kW) and requiring nearly 20 hours of charging. To divide this time by three, it will cost 355 euros to access the optional cable to exploit the maximum power of the onboard charger of 11 kW. Provided a quick charge is found, the Volvo battery accepts a charging power of 150 kW so that up to 80% of its energy is recovered in 40 minutes. To encourage the switch to electric, the Swedish manufacturer offers any buyer of an XC40 T8 before December 31, 2020, the charging station, up to a limit of € 1,149 for a single house or € 599 for a joint ownership.
It's characteristic of an electric vehicle: the XC40 T8 comes to life without a sound. Gone are the vibrations of a diesel and the soundtrack that attacks the eardrums. The best is yet to come. This SUV leaves its location with disconcerting vigor, similar to that of a GT. The acceleration puts you in the seat. 100 km / h is reached in 4.9 seconds; 130 km / h barely three seconds later. On the Mortefontaine circuit, the scene of our test, a small straight line is enough to block the counter at 180 km / h, the top speed of this SUV. A performance for this SUV still weighing nearly 2.2 tons including 500 kg attributable to batteries with a capacity of 78 kWh (75 kWh useful). It must be said that the XC40 T8 claims a power of 408 hp thanks to its two permanent magnet synchronous electric machines of 204 hp (150 kW), one per axle.
The traction managed by the all-wheel drive is never faulted thanks to a fine distribution of the torque (660 Nm). The lower center of gravity and the firmer sports chassis of the R-Design trim also contribute to the balance of handling. Considering the inertia of the whole, we are not sorry to have very powerful regenerative braking and three positions. The highest allows a rather pleasant driving called "a pedal". Perfectly accomplished and free of jerk, this system eliminates the need to apply the brake pedal in many situations, especially in town. It contributes to the safety that Volvo has set to an even higher level than usual.
The manufacturer, which no longer wants any death or serious injury in its cars, has equipped the XC40 T8 with the ADAS device coupled with a multitude of cameras, radars and sensors and allowing in particular the automatic avoidance of pedestrians or cyclists, in addition to braking. emergency. There remains the other thorny subject of the electric vehicle: autonomy. Our brief contact did not allow us to verify it but Volvo announces 418 km in the combined cycle and up to 538 km in the city, according to the WLTP standard. Available as an option (+ € 660), the heat pump helps increase autonomy. Finally, the XC40 T8 Recharge is expensive for its quality services. While it is eligible for the € 3,000 ecological bonus, at € 59,940, it remains by far the most expensive model in this range of SUVs.
Motors: 2 synchronous electric permanent magnets of 204 hp (cumulative power: 408 hp), 660 Nm of torque.
Transmission: all-wheel, 1-speed auto.
Dimensions (L x W x H): 4,425 x 1,863 x 1,652 mm
Weight: 2,150 kg
Range: 418 km
Speed: 180 km / h
Price: 59 940 €