For today’s road test we are onboard the Volvo XC40 P8 for a review. We have already talked about XC40, but this P8 version offers a completely innovative set of updates. In fact, a lot has changed since the D4 AWD diesel version tested previously and we are driving the first fully electric car of the Swedish brand.
Volvo recently announced that by 2030 it plans to transform itself into a brand with an electric only set of vehicles, thus eliminating all cars with an internal combustion engine, including hybrids. An ambitious plan to contribute to the reduction of emissions, dictated both by the desire to reduce the carbon footprint of vehicles, and to align with the plans of the European Union. However, the transition had already been foreseeable for some time, initially with the elimination of all engines over 2.0 in displacement, subsequently with the gradual transition to hybrid engines of the range up to the almost total elimination of diesel engines.
The Volvo XC40 P8 therefore presents itself as Volvo’s first fully electric car and adopts the CMA modular platform, the same as the XC40 with internal combustion engine. If aesthetically the differences from the more conventional sister are limited to a full front mask, everything changes inside. The powertrain consists of two electric motors, one per axle, capable of delivering a total power of 408 horsepower with a torque of 660nm, all powered by a 78kWh lithium-ion battery (75 of which can be used). These values translate into very interesting performances: 0-100 kph in 4.9 seconds. Values of a true sports car, carried on an SUV capable of offering great comfort, silence and space.
While driving, once you have become familiar with the high performances of the vehicle, you can see that the set-up tends to be calibrated for comfort. Thanks to the suspensions masterfully calibrated by Volvo, despite the weight and the 20-inch wheels, the road’s asperities are almost completely imperceptible. The driving experience is not only fun and comfortable but also rewarding. The very high quality of the interior contributes to the feeling of driving a car in the luxury segment.
The range declared by Volvo for this XC40 is 400km. During our test, carried out in the summer, it was possible to obtain the declared values without particular precautions along urban and extra-urban roads, with very high temperatures and air conditioning perpetually on. As you travel along motorway sections, consumption goes up and range consequently decreases. Keeping the 130 kph we arrive at an average consumption that stands at 25kWh/100km, with a range of about 280/300km. The OBC (On Board Charger) allows you to recharge the battery in AC up to 11kW three-phase (16A) or 7.4kW in single-phase (32A). In DC the maximum charging power is 150kW; on an HPC column it is therefore possible to recharge 80% of autonomy in about 35 minutes. Also noteworthy is the possibility of being able to adjust the amperage of the AC recharge from the infotainment.
On the Volvo XC40 P8 there are no conventional driving modes, you can only activate “One Pedal Drive” from the infotainment. Through this option it is possible to use the accelerator as the only pedal while driving since, when released, regenerative braking will be maximized until the vehicle comes to a complete stop. A real plus that I personally appreciate very much and it is very difficult to find on the few competitors of this Volvo.
Inside, compared to a thermal XC40, everything is unchanged. As mentioned, we are faced with the usual quality that Volvo has accustomed us to. First-class assemblies and materials, seats that look like armchairs and a truly incredible feeling of overall solidity. The panoramic sunroof is magnificent, it is an option that I would not be able to give up easily.
The most important update, which we will see over time coming to the entire Volvo range, is the new infotainment system. In fact, the Volvo XC40 P8 is the first car to adopt the new Android Automotive operating system which is a version of Android designed by Google itself for a vehicle. The graphics are very similar to the previous Sensus system, but the functionalities are better. The system is permanently connected to the network via an internal 4G SIM and provides the possibility of being updated OTA (Over the Air). It is possible to find the Google Play Store, from which you can download useful apps.
It is also possible to login with your Google account and use the voice assistant, which responds to “Ok Google”, to ask you to perform 360-degree actions, from playing music to managing the smart home, passing through the management of the navigator. The latter is based on a customized version of Google Maps that also allows you to suggest stops for recharging. The dashboard graphics have also changed, now they look better and come with a much more detailed map.
Finally, the high-level passive and active safety systems that characterize Volvo cars are always present. The reviewed version is the most equipped one, it is in fact a Twin Motor in Pro version. The price is about €60,000, but it includes all the optionals. It is possible to request for less equipped and single-engine versions, with a starting price of around €50,000. Volvo XC40 was a machine that had positively impressed us with the internal combustion engine. In this new P8 version, which moves towards the future with electric engines and new infotainment, we can only confirm our positive opinion.