Volvo XC100 & Volvo C40 electric SUVs carry an important mandate [Update]

Update: Volvo has announced that it plans to hold a “Recharge virtual event” tomorrow. The company hasn’t revealed it’s unveiling a new model at this event, but every recent development indicates that it is about the world premiere of the Volvo C40, the expected coupe version of the pure electric Volvo XC40 Recharge, which is coming to India this year. You can watch the Recharge virtual event live here, from 7:00 p.m. onwards.

Video Source: youtube.com/Volvo Car Japan

In December 2020, a report from europe.autonews.com claimed that Volvo plans to introduce a new EV on March 2, 2021. Auto News was likely talking about the Volvo C40 (Volvo XC40 Recharge coupe). The month before, Hakan Samuelsson, President & CEO, Volvo, talked about the upcoming Volvo electric car in an interview with Automotive New Europe recently. He said:

The very first electric car is XC40, the small SUV, and then there will be a variation on that same underbody, same technology, but with another, more, say, streamlined body. We will keep you there a bit in the dark until we show the car, but I promise you it will be a very good-looking car.

Hakan Samuelsson, President & CEO, Volvo

The C40 will be a fully electric XC40 with a coupe-like roofline and a redesigned rear with new tail lamps. Volvo will be targeting the younger crowd (and customers of the BMW X2) with the C40 and will probably offer it with the same powertrain as the XC40 Recharge.

The XC40 Recharge has a 75 kWh battery powering two electric motors, which are mounted on either axle and generate 408 PS and 660 Nm. The car returns a range of 400 km (WLTP) in a single charge and can be charged to 80% in just 40 minutes with a DC fast charger. The XC40 Recharge can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and has a top speed of 180 km/h, and the performance is expected to slightly be better in the coupe due to the more aerodynamic body. The range should also be better in the coupe version for the same reason.

Lynk & Co 05 coupe crossover CMA platform
The CMA Platform, the foundation of the Volvo XC40 and the upcoming Volvo C40, already hosts a coupe-crossover body style for group brand Lynk & Co (05).

In addition to the C40 (XC40 Recharge coupe), Volvo plans to introduce an XC100 flagship EV. Select Volvo Cars dealers have seen the vehicles and have spoken about the models to Automotive News.

Dealers happy with the what they see on the C40 & XC100

While both of the upcoming Volvo electric car models have been rumored for a couple of years, it was in February 2020 that the company a closed-door meeting with dealers in the U.S. seeking inputs, reports AutoNews.com.

Volvo XC40 Recharge Battery Package
The C40 will use the chassis and core components of the XC40 Recharge, and place its crosshair on the BMW X2.

The XC100 looks really good in terms of design, size and capabilities if the dealers are to be believed. It will go up against the likes of BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS.

Volvo XC100: Pure electric sloped-roof version of the next-gen XC90

Besides the C40 electric Volvo will be launching the fully-electric XC100 Recharge that is expected to be unveiled in 2023 and will follow an SUV-Coupe form.

MotorTrend.com reported in May 2020 that the Volvo XC100 Recharge will be built on Volvo’s SPA2 platform which will support fully electric powertrains. Volvo’s current flagship model, XC90 will spawn a new-generation within 2 years also underpinned by the SPA2 architecture. If it is shown first, the all-new XC90 will preview the new design language for the XC100 and will launch in gasoline-powered, hybrid and fully-electric versions. The current XC90’s SPA platform can accommodate only hybrid powertrains.

The XC100, however, will only come as a fully-electric car that will represent technology, style and comfort. Seating will be limited to four and we can expect comfort-oriented suspension and semi-autonomous driver assistance systems on the XC100. Volvo also follows the skateboard layout for its EVs and the batteries are placed on the floor between the axles. The XC100 will get electric motors on either axle for an all-wheel-drive layout as standard. It is also reported that the XC100 will be revealed in 2023 as a 2024 model and the prices are expected to start from $85,000.

On the next generation Volvo XC90

In July 2020, CarMag South Africa had an opportunity to interview Alexander Petrofski, vice-president Vice President of Large Cars at Volvo about new products. Speaking about the next-gen XC90, Petrofski said that Volvo’s strategy is clear and that all future vehicles would be available as pure EVs. By the time the next-gen XC90 is launched, the market demand for this type of variant would be reflected, he says, but customers won’t be alienated by the company’s serious push for electrification.

In countries like India which aspires to see more electric cars but does not have the charging infrastructure, the new XC90, like now, would come with a hybrid powertrain. Expect the pure electric range of the plug-in hybrid to go up from today’s 46 km. A diesel variant, CarMag.co.za writes, is not to be expected, when the new XC90 launches sometime in 2022.

Volvo’s electrification plans & Indian EV launch

Volvo XC40 Recharge charging
The XC40 Recharge is set to become Volvo Cars India’s first electric vehicle this year. Volvo will 5 additional electric cars in the global portfolio in 5 years.

Globally Volvo recently launched facelifts of the S90, V90 and V90 Cross Country models with the S90 getting new fog lights, a new spoiler and a new lower front bumper. The V90 models get a new rear light design, full LED-powered signature lighting and a sequential turn indicator. All the models also get new Bowers & Wilkins audio system and an Advanced Air Cleaner with a PM 2.5 particle sensor.

Every Volvo car is now available with the 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain as an option. The 48V hybrid powertrain comes equipped with the brake-by-wire system and energy recovery system, generating up to 15 per cent in fuel savings and emission reductions. Volvo has announced plans to put 1 million electrified vehicles on the road by 2025 and have 6 pure electric cars in the lineup. By 2025, 50 percent of Volvo’s total car sales will be from pure-electric vehicles, it predicts, and the XC100 & C40 would be big contributors if this mission is to succeed.

Volvo has confirmed the XC40 Recharge as its first electric vehicle for India in the second half of this year.