Volvo Car Malaysia teases new model on social media – will the XC40 Recharge T5 PHEV be launched soon? –

Volvo Car Malaysia (VCM) has dropped a new teaser on its official Facebook and Instagram pages, which suggests the imminent debut of a new model. The company isn’t being specific for obvious reasons, but there are hints in the post to suggest that we could be welcoming the XC40 Recharge T5 soon.

In the FB post, we see a headlamp from an XC40, which is a model that has already been launched in Malaysia. However, the accompanying #VolvoRecharged points to an electrified variant of the SUV, which is something that isn’t offered here.

As a brief recap, the Recharge name was first used for the all-electric version of the XC40 with the P8 powertrain, which made its global debut back in October 2019. The Swedish carmaker also announced at the time that Recharge will be the overarching name for all chargeable Volvos with an electric and plug-in hybrid powertrain.

So, any Volvo with a cord, be it powered by a Twin Engine PHEV powertrain or purely by electricity, will sport the Recharge name. Look at VCM’s current line-up and you’ll spot this with the PHEV variants of the XC90, XC60 and S60.

Currently, the locally-assembled (CKD) XC40 is only sold in a sole T5 AWD R-Design variant, powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder Drive-E engine. The mill makes 252 hp and 350 Nm of torque, with drive sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive system.

Meanwhile, the XC40 Recharge T5’s powertrain consists of a 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine (also used in the Proton X50) that serves up 180 PS (178 hp) and 265 Nm. Unlike its larger, T8 Twin Engine-equipped siblings, the electric motor on the XC40 PHEV is mounted at the front to a seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission rather than on the rear axle.

As a result, there’s no electric all-wheel drive here, with the XC40 PHEV being purely front-wheel drive. The e-motor is rated at 82 PS (81 hp) and 160 Nm, contributing to a total system output of 262 PS (258 hp) and 425 Nm.

Performance-wise, the XC40 PHEV isn’t as fast as the regular T5 model, with a top speed of just 180 km/h (instead of 230 km/h) and a zero to 100 km/h of 7.3 seconds (instead of 6.4 seconds). However, it wins in terms of efficiency by providing a claimed combined fuel consumption of as low as two l/100 km compared to the non-PHEV XC40 that is capable of 7.7 l/100 km following the European cycle.

The e-motor draws power from a 10.7 kWh lithium-ion battery, which is located in the central drivetrain tunnel of the car, and allows for around 42-45 km of pure electric range. A 3.7-kW onboard AC charger is standard, and with a Type 2 connection and a regular three-pin, 2.3-kW socket, it takes five hours for a full charge. With a more powerful 3.7-, seven-, or 22-kW charging station, the time is reduced the time to three hours.

The XC40 Recharge T5 has already gone on sale in Thailand, with media outlets there saying the model comes fully imported from Malaysia. As such, it was always rumoured that we’ll get the XC40 PHEV, and the teaser does suggest this to be the case.

When it comes to pricing, things are interesting in Thailand, as the XC40 Recharge T5 effectively replaces the non-hybrid T4 Momentum and T5 AWD R-Design that were previously offered in the country.

Over there, the entry-level Recharge T5 R-Design expression is priced at 2.09 million baht (RM282,450), which is the same as the T4 Momentum, while the higher-spec R-Design and Inscription variants go for the same price – 2.39 million baht (RM322,993) – unchanged from the departed T5 AWD R-Design.

With that in mind, could VCM follow a similar strategy and phase out the XC40 T5 AWD R-Design, replacing it with the XC40 Recharge T5 at the same price? Currently, with the ongoing sales tax relief, the non-PHEV XC40 T5 AWD R-Design here goes for RM241,450 OTR without insurance. Offering both is also possible, although it isn’t known if there will be a premium for the PHEV model.

It should be noted that in other global markets, there is also a lesser Recharge T4 variant, where the three-cylinder engine makes just 129 PS and 245 Nm, but retains the same electrified components for a total system output of 214 PS (211 hp) and 405 Nm. We don’t expect this variant to be offered should VCM decide to release a XC40 PHEV here. Similarly, the fully-electric XC40 Recharge P8 is unlikely given that the all-electric version commands quite a premium over its PHEV siblings in the markets it is sold in.

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