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Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 Pure electric

The independent Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 Pure electric video review

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    A BATTERY OF QUESTIONS (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Volvo's first full-EV is the XC40 Recharge P8 Pure electric. Jonathan Crouch has a few things he'd like to clear up...

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 64

    The XC40 Recharge P8 Pure electric is pretty much everything you'd expect a Volvo full-EV model to be. This fashionable battery-powered compact premium SUV features a state-of-the-art fully-electric all-wheel-drive powertrain that offers a WLTP-rated range of 249 miles on a single charge and an output of 408hp. The drawback is premium pricing but otherwise, a lot of boxes seem to have been ticked here.

    Backgroundword count: 169

    You might be surprised that it's taken so long for Volvo to bring us a full-EV: the marque was, after all, one of the very first to popularise Plug-in hybrid electrification in its cars. Or, conversely, if you know the industry, you might be surprised that this Gothenburg maker is selling any kind of EV at all. In recent years after all, this Swedish manufacturer's Chinese Geely parent company has dictated that development of full-battery power should be largely delegated to Volvo's all-electric subsidiary brand, Polestar. It seems not. Volvo wants (and needs in view of current European directives) to dramatically increase the sales percentage of its electrified models and that can't be done merely by concentrating on mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid engineering. Plus the XC40 sits on the same CMA platform used for the Polestar 2 model, so it was pretty straightforward to create a milkfloat mobility version of this little SUV. Mind you, with 408hp on tap, this car is a long way from milkfloat mobility...

    Driving Experienceword count: 216

    As is now normal with crossover EVs of this kind, the electrified set-up gives you two electric motors - one on each axle to deliver the advertised AWD capability - and all of it works via the usual EV single-speed auto transmission. It's the same powertrain set-up you get in a Polestar 2, which in addition to the 408bhp figure we mentioned earlier (at 14,000rpm!) means a massive 660Nm of torque - more than a Nissan GT-R. There's a hefty 75kWh battery with a 249 WLTP-rated driving range and the P8 can take off from rest like a scalded cat (62mph occupies just 4.9s), though flat out, it has to conform to the 112mph maximum that Volvo now applies to all its models. Both that and the introduction of this EV (one of five to be launched by Volvo over the next five years) are both key parts of the brand's plans to reduce its per-vehicle lifecycle carbon footprint by 40% by 2025, as part of a long-term goal to become carbon-neutral by 2040. Though in theory, this is an SUV, don't get any idea about venturing too far from a paved surface. Because of its underfloor batteries, this P8 model's ground clearance is down from the 211mm figure of a regular model to just 175mm.

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    Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen

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