Performance is both silent and violent. The long travel of the C40’s throttle pedal makes it easy to modulate its considerable urge, and the top 25 percent delivers effortlessly rapid real-world pace. Pressing harder proves the twin motor C40 can generate and maintain impressive longitudinal G-loadings up to and beyond legal cruising speeds. A 4.7-sec 0-62mph time makes it one of the quickest accelerating Volvos of all time.

While the C40’s ability to deliver speed is impressive, it is definitely not a sportscar. Suspension settings are soft and there is noticeable pitch, dive and roll when asking it to alter its vectors. The electronic control systems work cleanly to deliver drama-free traction, but the combination of a 2185kg kerbweight and our test car’s all-season Pirelli Scorpion tyres resulted in some lurid understeer on wet surfaces.

Gentle use suits the C40 far better. On smooth Belgian tarmac it felt impressively pliant and refined, with only the start of wind noise from the A-pillars at motorway speeds distracting from the calm of the cabin. The switchable one-pedal operation also worked impressively well, delivering near imperceptible stops.

The C40 has made the switch the Volvo’s Google-based infotainment system, this running a crisply rendered 9-inch portrait touchscreen which looks great. This also controls various dynamic functions, although these need to be found within several layers of sub-menus. Volvo’s determination to simplify controls also means the C40 does without any handbrake button, or any starting procedure beyond getting into it with the key and selecting drive. (Strangely there is a still a blank on the dashboard where the regular XC40 has its engine start button.)