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All-electric Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 breaks cover

Volvo pushes Australian XC40 EV launch back to 2021, plug-in hybrid to come first

17 Oct 2019

VOLVO has finally unveiled the all-electric Recharge P8 version of its popular XC40 small luxury SUV, but it will now not arrive in Australia until 2021, with the plug-in hybrid version confirmed to fill the gap when it arrives next year.

 

The XC40 Recharge P8 is Volvo’s opening salvo in a planned battery-electric vehicle (BEV) onslaught that will launch a new pure-electric vehicle under its Recharge sub-brand every year for five years, resulting in half of the Swedish brand’s global sales being BEVs by 2025 and the remainder made up of hybrids.

 

Promising a range of more than 400 kilometres on the WLTP test cycle and a dual-motor output of 300kW, the Recharge P8 is by far the most powerful XC40 and about lineball with the Mercedes-Benz EQC in terms of range and performance. Volvo claims its battery pack can be charged from near empty to 80 per cent capacity in 40 minutes using a fast charger.

 

Full technical details have not yet been issued, but the 300kW headline figure matches that of the high-riding Polestar 2 electric sedan with which the XC40 shared its CMA platform and is slated to be the EV-only brand’s Australian debut model when it launches here in the next couple of years.

 

The Polestar 2’s quoted torque output is 660Nm and the model is known to be propelled by two motors, fed by a 78kWh lithium-ion battery pack made up of 27 modules. Range of the more aerodynamic Polestar is targeted at 500km, with 0-100km/h dispatched in less than five seconds.

 

Volvo Car Australia director of corporate and PR re-confirmed to GoAuto that the XC40 Recharge P8 will arrive in Australia.

 

“The answer is yes and the all-electric (XC40) will be during 2021,” he said. “But beforehand we will have the plug-in hybrid during 2020.”

 

On the XC40, Volvo’s T5 plug-in hybrid drivetrain pairs a 1.5-litre, 134kW three-cylinder petrol engine with a 61kW electric motor that draws energy from a 10.7kWh battery pack. It all drives the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

 

Mr Bosnich said the plug-in hybrid XC40 was likely to be offered here in high-spec R-Design trim.

 

In addition to being the first pure-electric Volvo, the XC40 Recharge P8 features the brand debut of media system running on Google’s Android operating system, more commonly used for smartphones and tablets. That said, Honda is known to use Android in the background of its recent in-car touchscreens.

 

Volvo says the new Android touchscreen is “fully integrated” with its ‘On Call’ digital connected services platform that, among other things, currently tracks how time owners of the brand’s plug-in hybrid models spend driving on electricity alone.

 

As reported, the XC40 Recharge P8 will have a 30-litre luggage space under the bonnet due to space liberated by the compact electric drivetrain that is also said to free up additional storage space inside the passenger compartment.

 

The Recharge model’s new blanked-off grille design houses sensors that will enable Volvo to increase the XC40’s level of autonomous driving ability and the carpets will be made from recycled materials, while a new Sage Green paint finish option will be offered on this all-electric variant.

 

In contrast to the supply constraints facing many manufacturers of electric vehicles, Volvo plans to “triple production capacity for electrified cars”. Production of the XC40 Recharge P8 is expected to largely take place in China.

 

The company also promises “radically reduced delivery times” courtesy of pre-configured ‘Designer’s Choice’ selection to circumvent build-to-order delays.

 

Boldly, from early next year the company’s website will first ask visitors whether they want a Recharge EV model before they proceed further and EV customers will be refunded for the average cost of electricity used to run their car for the first year.


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