2024 Volvo C40 and XC40 Recharge Drop Driven Wheels for More Range

The last rear-wheel drive Volvos sold in the U.S. were the S90 sedan and V90 wagon, all the way back in 1998. Since then, in the name of packaging, weather and safety, Volvo has been focused on front- or all-wheel drive vehicles. Twenty-five years later, the Swedish automaker is bringing rear-drive back, following the trend of all-electric vehicles adopting a rear-drive layout. The 2024 Volvo C40 Recharge and Volvo XC40 Recharge have been updated with new rear-wheel drive trim options and all-new electric motors that are more efficient, which all factors into more driving range.

The new rear-wheel drive Volvo trims will be labeled “Single Motor Extended Range” and feature an 82 kWh battery pack that lies flat like a sled under the main compartment. The company claims the pack is now more energy dense and boasts 5 percent improved capacity, helping to extend overall range, and the new pack can now charge at a rate of 200 kW DC. It’s estimated to take about 28 minutes to get from 10 to 80 percent charge in ideal conditions.

A new permanent magnet electric motor rides on the rear axle offering 248 horsepower (185 kW). The Single Motor Extended Range C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge claim up to an EPA-estimated 297 and 293 miles of range, respectively.

So what’s the deal with a rear-wheel drive Volvo if the last two decades argued all-wheel drive is supposed to be safer? Well, the automaker has an answer for that: “With the weight of the battery and motors more evenly distributed throughout the vehicle, traction for the rear wheels is greatly improved when compared with a traditional front-engine ICE car.” For those who aren’t so sure, the all-wheel drive C40 and XC40 Recharge models aren’t going anywhere, and also benefit from new motors.

For the all-wheel drive Volvo C40 and XC40 Recharge Twin Motor models, the rear axle motor is replaced with a new in-house developed unit offering 255 horsepower paired with a new front-axle, 147-hp asynchronous electric motor, the latter of which is only engaged when the system determines it’s necessary for traction. Twin Motor models retain the existing 78 kWh battery pack with a top charging rate of 150 kW DC. On the XC40 Recharge, there’s 21 more miles of range, now up to 254 miles; the C40 Recharge Twin Motor has improved up to 257 miles. There’s also new available paint colors and more aerodynamic 19-inch alloy wheels.

Volvo C40 and XC40 Recharge Range:

ModelDriveRange (EPA est. )
Volvo C40 Recharge Single MotorRWD297 miles
Volvo C40 Recharge Twin MotorAWD257 miles
Volvo XC40 Recharge Single MotorRWD293 miles
Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin MotorAWD254 miles

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