The Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge Twin has been named the best New Energy Vehicle at the 2023 Old Mutual Insure South African Car of the Year (COTY) competition.
Now in its 37th year, the SA COTY 2023 competition included 21 finalists meticulously selected from a pool of 55 qualifying vehicles competing across eight categories. The Swedish luxury automaker’s first-ever fully electric car was judged the best vehicle in the all-important New Energy Category, with Volvo Car South Africa representatives accepting the coveted award at a glittering gala dinner in Johannesburg.
The XC40 P8 Recharge Twin – which is endowed with a 78 kWh battery pack and features an electric motor on each axle, generating peak system outputs as lofty as 300 kW and 660 Nm – beat the Audi e-tron GT (including the RS e-tron GT), the Haval H6 1.5T HEV Ultra Luxury and the Toyota RAV4 2.5 Hybrid VX E-Four to the prestigious title. The last time Volvo walked away with gold in the local competition was in 2016, when the XC90 secured overall honours, while the S90 placed a strong second in 2018.
The SA COTY jury comprised expert South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ) members, who took into account scoring criteria such as design, technology, engineering, powertrain, handling, ingenuity and safety. In addition, automated factors covering sales performance, segment share and value for money were applied, all of which culminated in a category victory for the XC40 P8 Recharge Twin.
Of course, the broader XC40 range is no stranger to automotive accolades, having been awarded a number of regional and worldwide titles since its debut, and even being named European Car of the Year in 2018. In addition, the XC40 was a top-three finalist in the 2019 World Car Design of the Year category.
When it comes to battery-powered Volvo models, customers worldwide clearly agree with the SA COTY jury’s sentiments, as in the first quarter of 2023, global sales of fully electric Volvo vehicles grew by 157%, year on year. This pushed the share of fully electric cars to 18% of the brand’s total volume and demonstrates that the Swedish firm is among the fastest transformers in the industry. This growth was achieved with just two fully electric models – the XC40 Recharge and the C40 Recharge.
In South Africa, the XC40 Recharge has proved exceptionally popular, with initial allocations of both the Twin Motor and Single Motor derivatives selling out in record time. It’s furthermore worth noting every single vehicle in Volvo Car South Africa’s range features some form of electrification.
Looking ahead, the Gothenburg-based firm will introduce its luxurious new EX90 flagship SUV, while its most compact SUV yet, the likewise fully electric EX30 was unveiled globally on 7 June. Volvo plans to reveal one new fully electric vehicle each year and by 2030 aims to sell only completely electric vehicles in one of the most ambitious electrification blueprints in the industry.