The Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge Twin Motor Ultimate had just recently graced the pages of CAR’s print offering – a no-brainer considering that it was the first fully electric vehicle from the Swedish manufacturer available in South Africa. But what we were really looking forward to is the model that slots in just underneath the range-topper; the P6 Recharge Single Motor Plus.
While the P8 tops off the model range, with dual motors and 300 kW and 660 N.m on tap, the P6 makes use of only a single engine as opposed to the dual motors of the P8. This allows it to make just over half of what the P8’s peak is. The 175 kW and 330 N.m are not sportscar-crushing numbers but they’re still enough to catch unsuspecting hot hatch owners sleeping at the lights – especially with all that torque on tap immediately available on the rear axle.
On our scales at the CAR office, the P6 Recharge weighed in at 1 973 kg, which means that it’s 155 kg lighter than the P8. That’s how much the extra electric motor and associated drivetrain mechanics account for—or two adults of average size. Interestingly, despite the P6 missing the extra motor of the P8, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s got more cabin room or cargo room because it’s exactly the same.
On the road, the XC40 P6 rides every bit as enjoyably as its blisteringly quick sibling, and while not as quick in a straight line, it’s definitely nothing to scoff at. Because there’s not as much power as the more brute sibling, I was less inclined to nail the throttle randomly, which definitely helps with the consumption and offers slightly more range. A slightly lower overall mass also inspires a little more confidence in the corners.
There’s a R190 000 difference between the two models. Though our road test in October 2022 indicated that the CAR team overall thought that the extra performance on offer from the P8 justified the extra outlay over the P6, I am personally inclined to go for this slightly more affordable option, save some money and drive in a way that enables me to enjoy EV motoring for longer stretches between charging.