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Volvo Returns to RWD, Brings More Range to XC40 And C40 Recharge in 2024

Rear-driven Volvos are back for the first time in 25 years

2024 Volvo C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge
  • The C40 and XC40 Recharge are the first rear-wheel-drive Volvos in America in 25 years.
  • Both Recharge models get new, more dense batteries and motors allowing for greater range.
  • Volvo adds new wheels and color choices to both for the 2024 model year.

For the 2024 model year, Volvo is making a host of changes to the C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge models. Some are big-news mechanical changes, like the return of rear-wheel drive to the lineup, and others Volvo says will bring more range.

Volvo hasn’t had a rear-wheel-drive product in the U.S. for 25 years, and that on its own is surprising news. The last vehicle to do that was the ages-old S90. Volvo is returning to its rear-driven roots because it has decided that a RWD layout is now more favorable for traction and safety in EVs. Volvo believes the more even distribution of weight through electric motors and batteries warrants the change. Leave it to Volvo to decide to use rear-wheel drive on safety grounds.

Volvo C40 Recharge

The new Single Motor Extended Range C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge now have an equally new 248-horsepower permanent magnet motor on the rear axle paired to the brand’s 82-kWh battery pack. According to the Swedes, the more energy-dense battery and motor combination create more efficiency, which nets the C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge some 297 miles and 293 miles of range, respectively. On top of that, the new battery enables faster 200-kW DC charging. You should be able to charge from 10% to 80% battery capacity in as little as 28 minutes (though you shouldn't expect this speed in less than ideal conditions).

Rear-drive variants aren’t being given all the attention, however. Volvo’s Twin-Motor AWD cars also benefit from more energy-dense packaging. Volvo has new 255-hp rear-axle motors for these trims, with those accompanied by a new 147-hp motor on the front axle. Now, the Haldex-style AWD Volvo became known for (which biases the front axle) works in reverse. The front motor is only fed power when the car’s various systems deem it necessary as a way to conserve energy.

Rounding out the changes are some new 19-inch wheels that are more aerodynamic than previous designs, as well as some new colors. Volvo hasn’t specified what these new colors are, but we’re hoping they’re fun and not as drab as a Swedish police drama.

Volvo XC40 Recharge profile

Edmunds says

Volvo’s return to RWD will be an interesting time. Often, this makes even the most pedestrian transportation just a little more fun. To boot, having some more range thanks to more dense battery packs for the C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge can only help Volvo’s argument in the luxury crossover space. We imagine this will be something of a trend over the next few years in the industry as manufacturers begin to hone their electrified offerings rather than simply rushing to be the next brand to offer an EV.