With a mighty 300 kW electric powerhouse under its sleek hood, the Volvo C40 is ready to make waves in the ever-expanding realm of Electric Vehicles. Its sharp and sophisticated design is bound to turn heads, while the luxurious interior invites you to indulge in a world of comfort and elegance. Brace yourself, for the Volvo C40 is about to etch its name in the annals of the electric revolution.

By Dumi Xaba

Volvo, the epitome of automotive excellence, derives its name from the Latin word “volvere,” which elegantly translates to “I roll.”

This linguistic fusion encapsulates the essence of motion and grace that defines the brand. With every sleek curve and powerful engine, Volvo effortlessly glides through the roads, leaving a trail of awe and admiration in its wake. With a name that echoes the elegance and fluidity of movement, Volvo stands tall as a symbol of innovation and sophistication in the realm of automobiles.

When Volvo is brought up in conversation, the mind instantly conjures up images of safety, impeccable craftsmanship, and practicality that rival the versatility of a Swiss army knife. In the kingdom of security, where practicality reigns supreme, Volvo has been amassing a treasure trove of well-earned honours.

The XC60 has emerged as the top-selling model, with approximately 200,000 units sold globally in 2022. Notably, Volvo has made significant contributions to automotive safety by introducing the safety belt to the industry without seeking a patent.

In 2008, Volvo further advanced safety technology with the development of the Collision Avoidance System (CAS), which automatically applies the brakes to prevent accidents in situations where the driver fails to respond. This innovative system has since been widely adopted in high-end vehicles, thanks to Volvo’s decision not to patent it, thereby prioritising passenger safety across various manufacturers.

I have finally had the pleasure of taking the reins of this superstar, a vehicle that has been captivating hearts and minds for quite some time. At first glance, the C40 appears indistinguishable from its sibling, the XC40, with its imposing grille that cleverly conceals its electric nature. But as you draw nearer, you can’t help but notice its sleek, coupe-like silhouette that exudes an air of sophistication.

The iconic Thor Hummer lights, borrowed from the XC40, remain intact, while the 20-inch black on silver wheels add a touch of allure (though some models sport a slightly smaller 19-inch set). At the rear, you are greeted by slender, towering running lights that gracefully curve into the boot, forming a captivating C shape.

In the past, electric vehicles were often considered more functional than fashionable, with exceptions like our beloved Leaf and the BMW i3. But this C40 is a game-changer, a true thoroughbred hailing from the Swiss, effortlessly pleasing to the eye.

Stepping inside, you are enveloped in luxury, surrounded by high-end materials. I was assured that the supple leather beneath me was entirely man-made, a conscious choice to protect our bovine friends from harm.

The steering and front seats can be easily adjusted to suit different driver preferences. Additionally, the rear seats have heating capabilities for added comfort. Although the coupe design offers ample legroom, taller individuals may find the headroom somewhat limited. It is important to note that, despite being an electric vehicle, the XC40 still has a transmission shaft, which may slightly restrict legroom for a middle passenger.

The trunk space is not overly generous, but there is a hidden compartment underneath for storing extra items like a laptop or handbag. Moreover, the EV design allows for some trunk space as well. Lastly, the seats can be conveniently folded down to create a flat surface, perfect for accommodating larger items in the trunk.

What’s the vibe behind the wheel of the C40?

I initially looked for the start button, but soon realized that it is not present in this model. Instead, you simply put the vehicle in gear and drive. The drive modes are available, although they are not located next to the gear selector, but rather in the menu bar.

I also noticed that the reverse camera angle is facing down a bit too much. Additionally, the brakes tend to squeak at low speeds. On the positive side, the C40 is well-insulated and remarkably quiet, even at freeway speeds. However, I did notice that when you remove your foot from the accelerator, the vehicle reduces speed before you even use the brake pedal, which took some getting used to.

Like most coupes, the rear window limits visibility. The steering is soft and responsive. While it may not have the same sound as an Audi RS3, this vehicle is incredibly fast. I was able to achieve a 0 to 100 km/h time of under 5 seconds, around 4.7 seconds, due to the weight of the batteries. As with most electric vehicles, the C40 is quite heavy and can feel bumps and humps on the road. However, it does a good job of absorbing road imperfections.

Overall, I can confidently say that this vehicle can be driven daily and enjoyed. The 84KW twin motor has a claimed range of 510 kilometres per charge, and it can charge up to 80% in approximately 30 minutes.

C40 Tech

Similar to other high-end Volvo models, the vehicle offers a range of luxurious features including the Harmon Kardon Sound system, a heated or cooled steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, a 360-degree camera, keyless entry, auto-dimming mirrors, hill descent start assist, Apple CarPlay integration, an automatic tailgate, collision warning, oncoming lane mitigation, child safety locks, and numerous other amenities.

General Details

List price: R 1 339 900

Engine: Electric

Fuel Type: EV

Fuel Range: 444 electric kilometres per charge

Power: 300 electric KW

Torque: 660 Nm

Top Speed: 180 km/h

Acceleration: 0 to 100 in 4,7seconds

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