Volvo has reached an important milestone in its industry-leading powertrain electrification programme with the debut of the new T5 Twin Engine hybrid system in the multi-award-winning XC40 SUV. The introduction makes Volvo the only manufacturer to offer plug-in hybrid versions across its entire product range, while the XC40 T5 Twin Engine is also the only plug-in hybrid car in the premium compact SUV segment.
The T5 Twin Engine marries Volvo’s efficient new 1.5-litre three-cylinder 180hp petrol engine with an 82hp electric motor in a hybrid system that delivers 262hp, making it the most powerful powertrain in the XC40 range. This power is balanced with strong environmental credentials: preliminary WLTP figures for CO2 emissions are from just 38g/km (where 19-inch wheels are specified), while combined cycle fuel consumption is expected to be up to 141.1mpg.
The compact, energy-dense lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 10.7kWh, enabling exhaust emissions-free electric-only driving of up to 28.6 miles (provisional data), according to driving conditions and battery charge levels.
The new T5 Twin Engine joins two diesel and three petrol powertrains in the XC40 range, with an all-electric model joining the line-up next year to provide a truly comprehensive choice.
The T5 Twin Engine is not only the first hybrid powertrain in the XC40, it is also the first to be engineered for use in Volvo’s CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform. It is front-wheel drive, in contrast to the established T8 Twin Engine (390hp) powertrain deployed in larger models built on the SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform, which has all-wheel-drive capability.
The powertrain’s efficiency and performance are supported by a new seven-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission, featured for the first time in a new-generation Volvo model.
The emissions efficiency of the T5 Twin Engine delivers significant cost-of-ownership benefits, including a benefit-in-kind tax rate for business/company car drivers of just 16%. For a 40% taxpayer, this means a monthly tax bill starting from £218 ($270.32) in the current financial year, a base figure that will fall to just £163 ($202.12) in the 2020/2021 tax year – adding up to a saving of £660 ($818.4) per year. The T5 Twin Engine is also exempt from annual Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax).
XC40 T5 Twin Engine models come with a recharging outlet on the nearside front wing. A 4.5m cable with a three-pin plug is provided as standard, while a type 2/mode 3 fast-charge cable is available as an optional extra for £50 ($62). Charging via the fast-charge cable will completely recharge the car’s high-voltage battery in as little as 2.5 hours. Fully charging via the three-pin plug cable takes between 3.5 and 6 hours.
The new powertrain is available in higher-specification versions of the XC40 – R-Design, R-Design Pro, Inscription and Inscription Pro trim levels. On-the-road prices are from £40,905 ($50,844) for the R-Design. Volvo retailers are taking customer orders now, with the first cars scheduled for UK delivery in February 2020.
Kristian Elvefors, Volvo Car UK’s Managing Director, said: “The introduction of the T5 Twin Engine brings our electrification programme to the heart of our model line-up, demonstrating our commitment to giving all our customers the best possible choice when it comes to powertrains that are both better for the environment and also practical for their lifestyles and driving requirements. The XC40 T5 Twin Engine is the first plug-in hybrid car in the premium compact SUV segment, and its technology brings real day-to-day cost benefits in terms of tax and fuel consumption.”