Putting The Fast In Fastback: The 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate


2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate front 3/4 view

Around 1963, the word "fastback" became popular in automotive circles. It meant a long, sloping roof, often extending to or nearly to the backside of a vehicle. Think '63 Corvette, '65 Mustang 2+2, '66 Dodge Charger. The style could be traced on and off back to the 1940s, but the word really took hold in the sixties.


The fastback thing went on for a while, then faded away. Eventually, someone was going to attempt a revival. Thirteen years ago, Honda dipped a toe in the water with the Honda Crosstour and the Acura ZDX . Public opinion was not good. The water was full of jellyfish and sharks. Honda got out as quickly as it could. But since then, there's been a new attempt---one that's arguably working better: Take a crossover SUV, and replace the right-angled roof and tailgate with---well, a fastback. Think Mercedes GLE Coupe and BMW X4.


2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate rear 3/4 view

Volvo has rarely been trendy (for decades, their fame came from cars that looked like they were styled with a ruler), but the C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate shows that they are not immune to jumping on a bandwagon when there's one around.


The C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate is for all intents and purposes, the crossover SUV XC40

Recharge Twin Ultimate---but with a fastback roof.


2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate hood up

2022 Volvo C40 Twin Recharge Ultimate frunk

That means several good things. First, it's an electric vehicle, sharing the same 402 horsepower twin electric motor setup. That means outrageous performance. Sixty from a standing start? Four-point-three seconds. As I noted in the March review of the XC40 Recharge Twin Ultimate: "That's exactly as fast as the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance I reviewed in February. It's 6/10ths of a second quicker than the Acura TLX Type S. It is only 2/10ths of a second slower to 60 than the Dodge Durango SRT 392 AWD." And none of those cars do it without using a drop of gasoline or putting a particle of tailpipe emissions into the air. Range is 223 miles on a single charge, it is DC fast charging capable at speeds up to 150kw and buyers get a year or 250kw worth of free charging at Electrify America stations nationwide.


2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate rear liftgate open

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate rear cargo area

2020 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate rear seat

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate front seats


2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate front seat detail

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate instrument panel

There are three price levels for the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge. The Core model starts at $56,395. The Plus, beginning at $57,945, adds a power passenger seat, power folding rear head restraints, and a foldable load floor with cargo divider and grocery bag holder. And the Ultimate, like our tester, begins at $60,100, adding a heat pump, air-ventilated subwoofer and a heated steering wheel.


2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate steering wheel and gauge cluster

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate center stack

It hadn't happened when I had the C40 in mid-May, but Volvo's long-promised over the air software update of its new Android-based infotainment system to be compatible with Apple CarPlay is finally a reality.


2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate front view


2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate side view


2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate rear view

Sixty-one and change (including destination and before options) for a small crossover EV isn't cheap. But the C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate is also a stealthy eco-muscle car---a unique selling proposition if ever there was one.

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