There are two flavours of XC40 Recharge Pure Electric on offer and both have been substantially improved since this model's original launch. Most customers will opt for the 'Single Motor' version, which used to be front-driven, but the Swedish maker's now moved the e-motor to the rear axle and slightly uprated its output to 238hp. Without any real impact on performance - rest to 62mph is dispatched in 7.3s on the way to the 112mph top speed that all Volvos these days share. EV driving range is WLTP-rated at 290 miles. To get the claimed mileage, you'll need to engage what the Swedish maker calls 'One Pedal Drive', selectable from the 'Driving' menu provided on this centre-dash screen. This dramatically increases the regenerative braking effect when you come off the throttle, to the point where, as advertised, the brake pedal will hardly ever be needed.
The alternative is the 'Twin Motor' AWD variant we're trying here, which in this improved form uses a larger 82kWh battery pack and twin electric motor set-up that has now adopted different front and rear e-motors, with 150hp and 258hp respectively, in place of the 204hp units previously used on both axles. But the 408hp total power output figure has remained the same as the last time we tested this car, so performance is still startling, a massive 670Nm of torque (at which point the main motor is spinning at a heady 14,000rpm), catapulting the car to 62mph in just 4.7s.
In 'Single Motor' form, an XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is around 350kgs heavier than the equivalent B3 mild hybrid model and you certainly feel that at speed through tight corners. Ride quality though is pleasantly supple and better than most similarly-sized EV rivals, aided by this EV variant's switch to a softer 'Touring' suspension set-up. That doesn't deliver a very sharp feel through the bends, but the distinctly modest level of feedback through the electric steering rack doesn't encourage you to seek that anyway, even if you use the centre screen option that switches the steering to its firmer setting.