Volvo Cars Now Following Lynk & Co Playbook, Introduces C40 Recharge

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
volvo cars now following lynk co playbook introduces c40 recharge

There was a time when practically any automaker could earn a few brownie points by proclaiming that they too would be transitioning toward becoming an electric-only manufacturer by [insert year here]. But times have changed and EVs have been around long enough for consumers to expect more than a promise that there would someday be more of them. There’s also a sense that regulations (stemming largely from Europe and China) are forcing the issue to a point where practically all automakers will eventually have to totally seize electrification or be forced to hand over vast amounts of money to governments or their chief rivals as a way to “offset” carbon emissions — making corporate promises far less impressive than they otherwise could have been.

Volvo, which was at the forefront of novel combustion powertrain solutions a few years ago, has since committed itself toward wholly embracing electrification under the tutelage of Geely Automotive. The Swedish-Chinese brand has made repeated announcements suggesting just how important EVs are for its future. On Tuesday, the company announced that it had officially committed itself to going fully electric by 2030 and showcased a new model while also vowing to make future sales online only.

It’s effectively the same strategy being used by Lynk & Coanother Geely subsidiary that just so happens to rely on Volvo architecture. While still uncommon, the direct-to-consumer sales model is supposed to make the purchasing process easier, eliminate the need (or ability) to haggle on prices, and provide the automaker added production flexibilities.

Tuesday’s webcast was loaded with the industry’s favorite buzz terms (mobility, transparency, etc.). But the core aspects involved the company stating that it would be moving to online sales with more opportunities to partake in subscription services we’ve been rather critical of in the past. Volvo also took the opportunity to announce the C40 Recharge EV.

Basically, a battery-powered XC40 with less headroom for rear passengers, the C40 comes with a swept-back panoramic roof and lots of little touches to distinguish itself (bodywork, LEDs, unique colors). It’s also supposed to offer a totally leather-free interior (yay?) and prioritize connectivity features. Considering Volvo already builds the XC40 Recharge EV, it’s easy to miss the point of the C40 until you realize it’s checking the aforementioned trendy boxes.

While the EPA hasn’t had its way with the C40, testing of its boxier brother has us assuming a maximum range of about 208 miles, though Volvo seems to think the newer model is a bit more aerodynamic (which might improve the estimate). The cars are mechanically identical otherwise. Both utilize a 78-kWh battery pack and an electric motor at each axle, resulting in a net output of 402 horsepower and 486 pound-feet of torque. Volvo figures 60 mph should be available in 4.7 seconds and has capped the crossovers top speed at 112 mph.

The C40 Recharge will also be the first product from Volvo that will be available exclusively over the internet. Production is slated to begin at Volvo’s plant in Ghent, Belgium, this fall. We’re guessing North America will see its first examples near the end of 2021 with a price tag slightly higher than the XC40 Recharge’s $53,990 MSRP.

Afterward, Volvo says it plans to deliver a new EV (or hybrid) every year — starting with the updated XC90 in 2022. Ideally, it would like to see sales split evenly between BEVs and hybrids by 2025 as it strives to eliminate internal combustion entirely by the end of the decade.

“I am totally convinced there will be no customers who really want to stay with a petrol engine,” Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson told the media after Tuesday’s presentation. “We are convinced that an electric car is more attractive for customers.”

[Images: Volvo Cars]

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  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion:
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?