Volvo is moving forward with electrification of its smaller models like the XC40. The compact SUV will get an all-new 1.5 liter, three-cylinder, direct-injection petrol engine.

It's the first three-cylinder engine in the company’s 91-year history, developed for plug-in hybrid cars.

Volvo expects that 10% of the XC40's ICE sales will be equipped with the new three-cylinder Drive-E powertrain, but its main purpose is PHEV applications. Per Volvo:

New Volvo XC40 - exterior

New Volvo XC40 - exterior

"The all-new 1.5 litre, three-cylinder, direct-injection petrol engine was developed in-house using the same modular design as Volvo’s four-cylinder Drive-E engines. The three-cylinder powertrain comes with a manual six-speed transmission. An optional automatic eight-speed transmission will follow next year.

In line with Volvo Cars’ strategy to continue improving economies of scale, the engine will roll off the same production lines as the company’s four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines."

"Volvo’s current D3 150hp diesel and T4 190hp petrol engines are also added to broaden the XC40 engine offer.

Furthermore, the new three-cylinder powertrain has been deliberately designed for integration into Twin Engine plug-in hybrid cars. A hybridised as well as a pure electric powertrain option for the XC40 will be added later.

XC40 customers now also have more choice in trim levels, including base, the launch variants Momentum and R-Design, plus the luxurious new Inscription level.

The Inscription trim offers exterior styling choices with 18”, 19” or 20” rims, unique skidplates, side window and grill mesh chrome, plus model-specific car colours. Inside, Inscription adds a newly designed crystal gear knob and the attractive Driftwood deco, which Volvo first introduced in its award-winning XC60 mid-size SUV.

XC40 customers can further express themselves with accessories like the 21” Black Diamond Cut alloy wheels, and the new accessory styling kit that offers brushed stainless steel skidplates and integrated dual tailpipes."

Alexander Petrofski, senior director at Volvo Cars, said:

<em>New Volvo XC40 Inscription - interior</em>

New Volvo XC40 Inscription - interior

“Our new three-cylinder engine is an exciting development for the XC40 and for Volvo Cars in general. This compact engine design provides the flexibility we need as we introduce more powertrain options for XC40 customers.”

“The new XC40 is a youthful car that suits drivers with a strong sense of individuality. We want our customers to be able to make a statement their way – subtle or otherwise – and so we want to offer them more choices, both in performance and styling.”

Drive-E 3 cylinder Petrol - interior

Drive-E 3 cylinder Petrol - interior

Drive-E 3 cylinder Petrol - modular design

Drive-E 3 cylinder Petrol - modular design

Drive-E 3 cylinder Petrol - optimised structure

Drive-E 3 cylinder Petrol - optimised structure