What is it?
The XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T5, to give it its full name, completes the Swedish firm’s goal of offering a plug-in version of every model in its line-up. It’s also the first Volvo to use the new Recharge branding unveiled at the launch of the full-electric version of the small SUV last year. The moniker will be used on all future plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and full-electric models - any Volvo you can plug in and charge, basically.
While Volvo’s other plug-in models, built on the SPA architecture, feature an electric motor that drives the rear wheels, the XC40 twins the three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine with a front-mounted electric motor, powering the front wheels only. Both motors are driven through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
The XC40 PHEV is due to reach the UK shortly, but we were given a short early introduction at Volvo’s Gothenburg base in Sweden.