Engines on Test: Volvo XC40 T3 FWD

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Sampling the XC40 T3 was special for many reasons – not only is it the first model to be built on Volvo’s high-tech compact modular vehicle architecture, it also houses the company’s first ever three-cylinder IC motor. That’s two engineering firsts for the new CUV – no pressure then!

For the XC40 application, the T3 produces 156ps at 5,000rpm and 265Nm of torque from 1,850rpm to 3,850rpm. Furthermore, it propels the compact SUV from zero to 100km/h (62mph) in 9.4 seconds with a top speed of 200km/h (124mph). In line with Volvo’s green offensive, the powertrain emits 147g/km of CO2 and helps to realize a fuel economy (combined) of 7.1l/100km (33.6mpg). According to the auto maker, such figures will ensure it can meet its target of hitting a fleet average 95g/km of CO2 later this year.

Behind the wheel, the CUV’s ride feels smooth and light as it glides down engaging country passes. Somewhat lacking in dynamism, it’s still sprightly with plenty of low-end torque. Round the corners it grips well for a compact SUV weighing 2,060kg and makes one feel at ease. The XC40, like the larger XC90, drives well, and is a perfect example of an SUV that’s efficient, responsive and still enjoyable to drive.

What will perhaps make most sense for an application, is a three-cylinder plug-in hybrid XC40. Watch this space.

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