The Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin Pro at a glance
A regular in the editorial office
The year 2021 is drawing to a close and as a car writer there is still time to take stock. Looking at Volvo, I notice that we have had the XC40 and its sister model, the C40, as guests in the editorial office five times since the beginning of 2020, or that we have been able to take a closer look at their qualities on various trips. The following text will now be the sixth driving report about the Swede, this time about the winter qualities of the 300 kW / 408 PS XC40 Recharge Twin (combined power consumption: 24.2-23.8 kWh / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g / km²) will turn.
But first of all, what do the 45th US President, Google and Volvo have in common? Well, the former head of state is probably the only known politician about whom you don’t get Wikipedia information directly via “Hey Google, who is …” in the Volvo XC40. Otherwise, they’ve made a few over-the-air updates at Volvo in no time since we last met. Because in comparison to the previously tested XC40 / C40 with Android Automotive, the K-PR 461 doesn’t make any mistakes when it comes to navigation and is otherwise extremely self-explanatory to use.
Significantly less range in winter, slow charging speed
With the net 75 kWh battery of the Recharge Twin model, the manufacturer promises a range of 412 to 528 WLTP kilometers, the second value being for urban use. However, only if the external conditions are right. There was never any talk of temperatures as low as minus seven degrees and no garage for temperature-controlled parking of the vehicle. And so, in this weather, a snowflake symbol has recently appeared next to the Volvo’s battery indicator, which means that the energy storage system is working outside of its comfort zone. For lithium-ion batteries, this is usually between 20 and 40 degrees Celsius.
If this is not the case, the winter range of the Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin drops with an average consumption of more than 26 to 100 kilometers to a rather poor 280 to 260 kilometers. This may be sufficient for everyday errands, but for long journeys – especially in winter – it is definitely not enough. Even when charging at the same-current column, the SUV, which cost at least 63,640 euros in the Pro version, was not able to convince. Although Volvo specifies a maximum charging speed of up to 150 kW, we didn’t even come close to achieving this charging power (as in the summer test). Regardless of the battery level and whether or not the power storage unit was preheated.
Sporty road holding, rough steering
The at least 2.2 tonne Stromer tries to make up for the rather meager deployment radius in cold weather elsewhere with its sporty and comfortable basic set-up. An electric all-wheel drive consisting of two permanent magnet synchronous machines with a system output of 408 hp and 660 Newton meters of torque ensures extremely lively driving values. However, the steering was worthy of criticism on the test car. Usually very direct, but free of much feedback, a lot of it in parts through a hacky, almost hanging peculiarity. The change between the normal and the “sporty steering feel” has not changed anything.
The Swede, on the other hand, shows real strength in the interior. The XC40 delivers the usual high-quality performance and a lot especially as an electric recharge model due to its strong heating performance in winter operation. After just a few hundred meters, warm air flows out of the ventilation, and the seat and steering wheel heating work at a decidedly Scandinavian level. Otherwise we liked the overall low noise level, the good sounding Harman / Kardon sound system and the extensive standard equipment.
Superior drive performance, good workmanship, extensive standard equipment: The Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin could be a really big hit in the electric segment, if it weren’t for the high power consumption, the associated short range and the comparatively low charging capacity. What may not be a problem for commuters close to the city will be annoying at the latest, especially in winter when longer distances are to be covered. With a base price from 56,150 euros, the Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin is also not part of the special offer in the electric SUV segment. (Text and image: Thomas Vogelhuber)