Volvo is changing the names of its electric compact SUVs midway through their careers

Rare manufacturers decide to change the name of a vehicle in the middle of its career. McLaren did this recently by replacing its GT with a GTS that was barely tweaked during a restyling, Mercedes has done it several times (SLK became SLC in 2016, ML became GLE in 2015) as has Volkswagen (Passat CC became CC 2012) or even Volvo (the 850 became the S70/V70). The Swedish manufacturer is once again returning to its names, which we have already become accustomed to reviewing the names of its engines in recent years.

This time, without warning and without even waiting for any restyling, Volvo is changing the names of the electric variants of its compact SUVs, until now called XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge. From now on, they will have to be called EX40 and EC40, like the electric EX30 and EX90 that make up the range or the EM90 minivan that is not sold in France. This name change does not affect the thermal XC40, which retains its name, like the thermal XC60 and XC90 (microhybrid or plug-in hybrid), while the name C40 disappears completely, because the model was sold only in electric form. You follow?

Consistency or risk of confusion?

Volvo specifies that this transition takes place before the transition to all-electric drive by 2030, and that it should make it easier for potential buyers to understand the different models on offer. We remain concerned for all those looking for a used car in the future who may not come across a rare gem if they type “XC40 Recharge” into their search bar instead of “EX40” or vice versa. This was already the case to some extent with the new “B” designations that denoted both gasoline and diesel microhybrid units, or Recharge that symbolized both PHEV and electric on certain models.

What's more, Volvo announces that the Recharge badge is disappearing from plug-in hybrid models for greater clarity. They are now simply called T6 or T8 depending on the power level. The name should also be phased out from other models (S60 and V60, XC90, etc.).

Revised power for twin engine versions

Finally, the brand adds a few horses to the EX40 and EC40 Twin Motor, with two engines and all-wheel drive. The update adds 25kW to the two SUVs, offering a cumulative output of 325kW, or the equivalent of 442bhp in Performance mode delivering full power. This software update is also available to those who already purchased the XC40 Recharge or C40 Recharge a few months ago.

The EX40 is already on sale, with a starting price of €46,950 for the 238 hp version. The model is offered in a special Black Edition series (black color, black markings, black rims, etc.) at a price of €56,000. For its part, the EC40 coupe SUV will arrive on the market a little later.

Price of Volvo EX40 (February 2024):

Price (in €) Important Beginning More black edition* Ultra
Single 238 hp 46,950 48,950 54,700 56,000
Single extended range 252 HP 52 200 57,950 59,250 63 200
Twin Performance 442 HP 62 150 67,400

*: special series.

Also read on

Volvo XC40 Recharge 2023 review: rear engine, step forward

Volvo EX30 test: behind the wheel of an electric mini SUV

Volvo C40 Recharge test: our opinion behind the wheel of the electric SUV coupe

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To sum up

Volvo decides to align its names by further separating electric from thermal models. Thus, the compact SUVs XC40 and C40 become EX40 and EC40 when they are electrically powered, like the EX30 and EX90.


Benjamin Defay

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