Both vehicles get some fundamental changes underneath. Until now they’ve come with front-wheel drive. Now, by switching that single-motor layout to rear-wheel drive instead, and adopting a new motor, range and efficiency have been boosted by a significant amount.
Volvo says that these vehicles mark the first time the brand has offered a rear-wheel-drive variant in 25 years.
The new motor, which makes 248 hp with the larger 78-kwh (usable) battery that U.S. models have received to date, has been developed in-house at Volvo Cars, according to the automaker.
Volvo notes that 0-62 mph acceleration for the single motor remains at 7.4 seconds versus official 4.9- and 4.7-second times for the twin-motor XC40 and C40, respectively. The top speed is also unchanged at 112 mph.
These Volvo EVs remain on the company’s CMA platform, with some components shared with the Polestar 2—although Polestar is shifting to its own propulsion components. Volvo’s then-CTO Henrik Green tipped Green Car Reports to the idea that Volvo had the flexibility to make either of these models front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. At least for now, single-motor versions of the Polestar 2 have front-wheel drive.
Twin-motor all-wheel-drive versions of the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge are also getting an update, featuring a 245-hp version of this motor at the rear wheels, plus a new 157-hp induction motor at the front wheels. With improvements in battery cooling, new low-drag wheels, and other improvements, potential U.S. versions of the single-motor XC40 might achieve a 270-mile EPA range, while the C40 bumps that up to 275 miles.
Volvo Cars USA could not yet comment on the timeline of these models, but it emphasizes that these aren’t official EPA numbers.
The vehicles will charge faster, too. DC fast charging power has been boosted to 200 kw in models with that larger battery pack, and Volvo says that a 10-80% charge takes about 28 minutes.
Volvo noted how these changes compare to the “outgoing model year.” Currently, 2023 model-year versions of these vehicles are being sold in the U.S., so expect this range boost for the 2024 model year.
With rear-wheel drive and more range, when will single-motor versions of these Volvo EVs be likely to arrive in the U.S., rather than only dual-motor versions? Volvo hasn’t said yet, but considering how important EV range is, place your bets on soon.
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