The evolution of the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric tells you a lot about the changing preferences of car buyers. When the XC40 family SUV line-up was launched, you could get it with regular diesel and petrol engines only. Today, diesels are no longer offered.
What’s more, most of the petrol engines are mild hybrids, there’s a plug-in hybrid with a 21-mile electric range, and now – as bang on trend as it gets – we have this fully electric version. With a history like that, you might assume the XC40 was a withered old car with a life spanning many decades, but the range is barely out of nappies.
In fact, the XC40’s rapid evolution was planned from the outset, and the Recharge Pure Electric has always been part of Volvo’s grand plan to propel itself towards a future that is likely to see electric cars accounting for half its sales a few years from now.
The XC40 has already moved the goalposts in the family SUV class (it won our overall What Car? Car of the Year Award when it arrived), so can the fully electric version achieve a similar impact?
Right now, the XC40 Recharge is available only with a 78kWh battery, 402bhp from twin electric motors, a range of up to 260 miles and a hefty price tag. You can, though, choose from entry-level trim, mid-range Plus and the best-equipped version, Pro