Volvo ripped the covers off its entry-level C40 Recharge electric hatchback (EV) in Europe today, on the back of announcing an end-date for combustion-engine production.

Volvo will take orders for its C40 Recharge from May this year.

The car is lower, sleeker and lighter than its Volvo XC40 Recharge crossover sibling.

Both models – and the Polestar 2 premium EV – share their CMA architecture, with the main exception being that the C40 Recharge was designed as an EV from the first drawings, while the XC40 accommodates gasoline, diesel and hybrid powertrains.

“The C40 Recharge represents the future of Volvo and shows where we are going,” Volvo Chief Technology Officer Henrik Green said.

The C40 Recharge will target the Volkswagen ID.3 and the Tesla Model 3, with a 4431mm (174.5 inches) overall length tracking at just 6mm longer than the XC40.

It’s lower, too, with its 1582mm (62.3 inches) roofline slipping 69mm (2.7 inches) below the crossover, though its width is almost identical at 2035mm.

To be built in Ghent, Belgium, the C40 will use a 78kWh lithium-ion battery that can be charged to 80 percent within 40 minutes.

Volvo claims a range of 418km (260 miles) on the European WLTP cycle, which it insists will be stretched with a series of over-the-air updates over time.

The batteries deliver 74kWh of usable charge capacity and can be recharged at 150kW, though a standard 3.7kW to 11kW charger will take eight hours to recharge the car.

Volvo says the C40 will accelerate to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds, and it has limited the top speed to 180km/h.

“The C40 Recharge represents the future of Volvo and shows where we are going,” Green said.

“It is fully electric, offered online only with a convenient care package and will be available for quick delivery. Getting a new Volvo was never this attractive.”

It uses a series of design cues to differentiate it from its XC40 sibling, including a new LED matrix headlight graphic, yet it remains a high-riding hatchback in the manner of the Model 3 and the Volkswagen ID.3.

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