IT’S a Volvo but not as we know it! The Swedish car makers first from the ground up electric car design delivers 0 to 60 in under 5 seconds!

Sharing most of its underpinnings with the Polestar 2 means the same 75kWh battery and twin electric motors (one at each axle for all-wheel drive) which give 402bhp and an eye-watering 487lb-ft of torque.

Even so, Volvo claim a 257-mile real world single charge range and the possibility of an 80 per cent charge in just 40 minutes on a high power outlet (8 to 10 hours on a domestic socket).

Volvo think electric vehicles will account for 50 per cent of their sales by 2025 when they are also aiming to reduce life-cycle carbon footprint per vehicle by 40 per cent and be climate neutral by 2040.

I have tried the combustion engine XC40 and was impressed but this electric version is a huge step up in the performance department – very un-Volvo like with supercar acceleration when you really boot it.

However, you have to pay for all that go power as the Recharge version starts a shade over £48k compared to the range-topping petrol version which is around £8,000 cheaper.

The battery pack also adds almost half a tonne too, but Volvo have retuned steering and suspension to compensate and you will notice little difference over the ICE car.

So the XC40 Recharge is rapid but also well-mannered around corners or roundabouts and great fun to drive – simply push the stick forward for reverse and back for forward.

There’s keyless entry and no start button, which is a little confusing at first. A sensor in the driver’s seat turns things on and the car just glides away on command in near total silence.

This midsize crossover/SUV also boasts new innovations including a rear auto brake that can sense if the car is about to be hit from behind and applies the brakes automatically to stop it hitting the car ahead. There’s also an enhanced Pilot Assist using Google Maps on a new 12.3in high-resolution digital dash display.

Other standard features include heated seats all round, adaptive cruise control, park assist with a 360 degree camera system, power panorama glass sunroof, hands free power tailgate, wireless phone charging, a 9” central touchscreen and, as you would expect from Volvo, all the very latest driver aids and safety features.

I particularly like the comforting range calculator which gives a maximum, minimum and average distance left in the battery plus a percentage charge so calming any range anxiety plus there is a range optimiser button, if you have left things a little tight, and the sat-nav can even show you to the nearest charging points.

That central display is now much easier to operate and boasts an Android-based infotainment system developed with Google which includes Google Maps, the Google Play Store and voice activated Google assistant.

The seats are comfy and supportive with lots of leg room front and back and luggage capacity is only slightly reduced by the electric power set up from the standard car.

So with petrol and diesel prices heading rapidly only one way there has never been a better time to switch to electric and if you want to do in rapid comfort, safety and style then the XC40 Recharge could be just the car for you.

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By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth