Volvo’s new T5 Twin Engine petrol-electric hybrid powertrain debuts in XC40 – the UK’s first plug-in hybrid premium compact SUV
Volvo reaches 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.
Power and efficiency
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.
A first for the CMA platform
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.
A tax-efficient choice
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 in the current financial year, a base figure that will fall to just £163 in the 2020/2021 tax year – adding up to a saving of £660 per year.
The T5 Twin Engine is also exempt from annual Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax).
Ease of charging
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.
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.
Every inch the modern Volvo
The XC40 epitomises the qualities that have made Volvo the UK’s fastest-growing premium car brand. Displaying cool, clean, contemporary lines, it blends Scandinavian style with all the desirability and dynamism customers seek from a compact SUV. An impressive haul of industry awards has been matched by public enthusiasm for the car, which has quickly become the best seller in Volvo’s UK range. Generous equipment levels across the board major on seamless on-board connectivity, advanced comfort and convenience features, and cutting-edge safety aids.
Order books open now
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 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.”
The advance of electric cars constitutes the biggest change in the history of the automobile. For the first time in over a century, cars move without a petrol or diesel engine in the engine bay and have a battery in the floor, changing the car at its core.
With the introduction of the forthcoming fully electric Volvo XC40 SUV this month, Volvo Cars is not just launching its first fully electric car – in true Volvo tradition, it is also introducing one of the safest cars on the road, despite a fresh set of challenges presented by the absence of an internal combustion engine.
“Regardless of what drives a car forward, be it an electric machine or combustion engine, a Volvo must be safe,” says Malin Ekholm, Head of Safety at Volvo Cars. “The fully electric XC40 will be one of the safest cars we have ever built.”
While building on the excellent safety standards of the original XC40, Volvo Cars’ safety engineers had to completely redesign and reinforce the frontal structure to deal with the absence of an engine, meet Volvo Cars’ high safety requirements and help keep occupants as safe as in any other Volvo.
“The fundamentals around safety are the same for this car as for any other Volvo. People are inside, and the car needs to be designed to be safe for them,” says Malin Ekholm.
To help keep passengers safe and the battery intact in the event of a collision, Volvo Cars also developed a new and unique safety structure for passengers and battery alike in the XC40. The battery is protected by a safety cage which consists of a frame of extruded aluminum and has been embedded in the middle of the car’s body structure, creating a built-in crumple zone around the battery.
The battery’s placement in the floor of the car also has the benefit of lowering the center of gravity of the car, for better protection against roll-overs.
Meanwhile, the car’s body structure has not just been reinforced in the front, but also at the rear. Here, the electric powertrain has been integrated in the body structure to realise a better distribution of collision forces away from the cabin and reduce the strain on people inside the car.
In terms of active safety systems, the battery-powered XC40 also introduces new technology. It is the first Volvo model equipped with a new Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensor platform with software developed by Zenuity, the joint venture company owned by Volvo Cars and Veoneer.
The new ADAS platform is a modern, scalable active safety system that consists of an array of radars, cameras and ultrasonic sensors. Because of its scalable nature, it can easily be developed further and lays the foundation for the future introduction of autonomous drive technology.
Volvo Cars will reveal more details about the fully electric XC40 in the coming weeks, before it will be first shown to the public on 16 October.
For the second year in a row, Volvo has won the overall title at the annual Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year Awards. This time around its premium compact SUV XC40 drove off with the 2020 title, following in the treadmarks of its bigger brother, XC60, which achieved the same feat last year. The UK’s fastest-growing premium brand also scooped two other awards at the highly respected ceremony held at the glitzy Royal Automobile Club on London’s Pall Mall.
The award-winning Volvos were among 36 vehicles tested by expert judges at the Millbrook proving ground in Bedfordshire. Each car was checked by the club’s technical team before being put through their paces by a specialist driving team. Performance was tested and each vehicle’s ‘caravanability’ was assessed, taking into account factors such as the boot space available to carry kit, accessories for a caravan trip and the towball height.
The judges heaped praise on the XC40, Volvo’s compact SUV with striking, Scandinavian-influenced design. One said: “There’s one word that sums up towing with this car: effortless. We assess on many different criteria, and you might get a car that scores very highly on one and not on others – the XC40 is just across-the-board great.”
Regarding its performance at Millbrook, another judge said: “It was stable on A-roads and the test hill route as it was on the motorway, and it was fine to drive on them all. It picks up speed brilliantly – it’s never underpowered, you’re never in the wrong gear. Everything is where you want it to be when you’re towing, and it’s incredibly controllable when reversing.”
With the wellproven D4 powertrain, the XC40 can tow braked trailers of up to 2.1 tonnes, making it a worthy choice for caravanners. The SUV’s relatively compact dimensions make for easy and agile manoeuvring, while its cleverly designed interior provides plenty of space for passengers and cargo. In fact, there are 460 litres of luggage space available behind the rear seats, which extends to an impressive 1,336 litres with the rear seats folded down.
Meanwhile, the V60 D4 AWD Cross Country Plus’s win in the 1,500-1,700kg category brought equal positivity from the judges: “The V60 performed amazingly well in the driving rain and high winds at Millbrook. It’s a beautiful-looking car and comes loaded with technology; the V60 is fantastically controllable, even at very low speeds, and its substantial kerbweight means it can cope with heavier, more luxurious caravans.”
The V60’s estate car body has been designed to maximise interior space and practicality, a virtue that also drew praise from the judges: “There’s plenty of luggage capacity – our team even managed to pull the load cover over all our equipment – and the electrically retractable towbar was easy to use.”
Volvo’s 190hp D4 diesel engine in both winners is a highly capable, powerful performer when it comes to providing the strong, lowrev torque and smooth power delivery that are required for surefooted towing. The 2.0 litre unit musters a maximum 400Nm of torque, available all the way from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm, for effortless, flexible performance, even when fully laden.
Allwheel drive in both cars ensures stable handling on all surfaces and in all conditions, while the standard eightspeed automatic gearbox adds to the allround refined driving experience for enhanced long-distance comfort. Volvo’s Polestar Engineered Optimisation performance upgrades are also now available for both models. This range of electronic enhancements focus on five key areas – including engine performance, gearshifts and accelerator response – to deliver a more precise and controlled driving experience, making it the ideal upgrade for those who tow.
As standard, both models come with cutting-edge connectivity to make life on the move as convenient as possible. Owners can also specify their XC40 or V60 for life in the great outdoors with a wide choice of accessories, including roof boxes ranging in volume from 320 to 430 litres, special carriers for bikes, skis and canoes, and even a dog harness for the back seats.
David Baddeley, Operations Director of Volvo Car UK, said: “For decades, Volvo has been proud to serve a broad range of customers who choose us for their towing needs. It’s an honour to see that the XC40 and V60 have performed so strongly in the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s awards, which reflects the realworld priorities of people who need a towcar they can trust to do the job, that is safe, stylish, well equipped and cost effective to run.”
Talbot Heath School for Girls unveiled their state-of-the-art STEAM building which is sponsored by Volvo Cars Poole.
The building houses a 600-seat auditorium, a virtual reality and hologram space, art studios, technology workshops and a 25-metre swimming pool.
‘On behalf of Volvo Cars Poole, I would like to congratulate Angharad Holloway and all of the team at Talbot Heath in realising the dream of the Talbot Heath STEAM Hub. It was an honour and a privilege to be a founding sponsor of this project; to see the pupils at Talbot Heath being given access to ground breaking facilities and curriculum is the type of innovative and people centric thinking that all at Volvo Cars Poole try to adopt. We wish all concerned the very best with the future of the Hub as it grows and becomes an integral part of learning in Dorset from 2019 and beyond.’ – James Litton, General Manager – Director at Volvo Cars Poole.