The launch of the XC40 T5 Twin Engine represents an important milestone in Volvo's electrification programme. With its release, the brand has become the first carmaker to offer its full range with a plug-in hybrid option while at the same time being the only manufacturer to offer a PHEV in the premium compact SUV segment.
As well as being the first plug-in car in its segment, the XC40 T5 Twin Engine's powertrain is the first designed for use in Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform. Unlike the T8 Twin Engine powertrain seen in the likes of the S60 T8, which is built on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, the XC40 T5 Twin Engine is front-wheel drive only and is suitable for Volvo's current and future smaller models.
Like its larger siblings, the XC40 T5 Twin Engine is exempt from annual Vehicle Excise Duty. Volvo has also got its eye firmly on the company car market thanks to a benefit-in-kind rate of just 16 per cent. In the 2020/2021 tax year when new BIK rates will come into force, business owners could save up to £660 per year compared to current levels.
Volvo's T5 powertrain combines its small-yet-powerful 1.5-litre, three-cylinder, 180bhp turbocharged petrol engine with an 82bhp electric motor for a total system output of 262bhp. This power is sent to the front wheels via a new seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
On the electric side, the T5 Twin Engine has a 10.7kWh battery which enables it to be driven 28.6 emission-free miles. And despite being the most powerful model in the XC40 range, the T5 Twin Engine is also the cleanest – preliminary WLTP figures show 38g/km of carbon dioxide and up to 141.1mpg. An electric version is on its way for those who want a completely emissions-free XC40, but it's not due until 2020.
As standard, the XC40 Twin Engine comes with a three-pin plug which enables it to be fully charged in a maximum of six hours. A £50 option buys you a type 2/mode 3 fast charge cable that should see full charge restored in closer to two-and-a-half hours.
Volvo is offering the T5 Twin Engine in higher trim levels only – R-Design, R-Design Pro, Inscription and Inscription-Pro. On the 'base level' R-Design buyers will get cruise control, a sports chassis, rear park assist, LED headlights with active beam, a 12.3 inch TFT instrument display, 9 inch centre console touch screen with navigation, DAB and a high performance sound system.
As you'd expect from one of the pioneers of modern vehicle safety, the XC40 isn't found wanting in the safety and driver aids side of things. Again, looking at the R-Design, the car comes as standard with dual stage driver and passenger airbags, driver's knee airbag, driver alert control with lane keep assist, oncoming lane mitigation and road sign information.
On-the-road prices start at £40,905 for the R-Design, up to £42,305 for the top-spec Inscription Pro. Order books are already open for the XC40 T5 Twin Engine with deliveries starting in February 2020. You can configure your perfect XC40 here.