Volvo XC40 T5 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid: Volvo adds compact SUV to PHEV range
Volvo has announced full details and UK prices of the XC40 T5 Twin Engine – a plug-in hybrid version of its smallest SUV.
Volvo's S60 and S90 saloons, and their corresponding V60 and V90 estate versions, are also offered in plug-in hybrid form, making the Chinese-owned Swedish brand the first in the UK to offer electrified versions of every car it sells.
While the other plug-ins use a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder drivetrain Volvo calls 'T8', the XC40 marks the debut of a new 'T5' designations. This refers to a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder, 178bhp petrol engine married to an 81bhp electric motor for a total system output of 258bhp. Unlike the T8, which is four-wheel drive, the T5 sends power to the front wheels only, through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
According to Volvo, preliminary calculations indicate CO2 emissions of 38g/km and fuel economy of 141.1mpg will be achieved under official testing, with a pure electric range of just over 28 miles possible from a fully charged 10.7kWh battery. Top speed is 127mph and 0-62mph takes 7.3 seconds.
Using the supplied 4.5-metre cable with a three-pin plug, the battery can be charged fully in three to six hours. Spending £50 on the optional Type 2 cable allows for faster charging from public rapid charge points, with a full charge completed in two-and-a-half hours.
The 38g/km CO2 emissions figure places the XC40 T5 in the 16% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company-car tax band in the UK, resulting in a monthly bill of £218 for a 40% taxpayer in the current financial year, dropping to £163 a month in 2020/21. Road tax, or Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), is £135 per year.
Volvo is offering the XC50 T5 in R-Design (£40,905), R-Design Pro (£42,305), Inscription (£41,255) and Inscription Pro (£42,305) trim levels. The T5 engine joins the two petrol and three diesel options currently offered to XC40 buyers; a fully electric, zero-emissions version will complete the line-up at some point in 2020.
The XC40 T5 doesn't currently have any direct rivals, but the forthcoming BMW X1 xDrive 25e, DS 7 Crossback E-Tense and higher-spec versions of the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid 4 and Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid4 sister models will also offer a PHEV setup in compact SUV form.