Volvo has added a plug-in hybrid option to its biggest-selling model and it will be here from next month, the Swedish car maker has confirmed.
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The 2021 Volvo XC40 plug-in hybrid will arrive in Australian showrooms in August, priced from $64,990 plus on-road costs.

The Swedish car maker has confirmed dealers have started taking orders ahead of the first deliveries from next month.

"The first cars start arriving as early as August and our dealers have been given the appropriate information to start assisting customers," said Volvo Australia spokesman Greg Bosnich.

A dealer bulletin outlined below shows the Volvo XC40 PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) is $8000 dearer than the current flagship Volvo XC40 T5 R Design ($56,990 plus on-road costs) and is $18,000 more than the cheapest model in the range, the Volvo XC40 T4 Momentum ($46,990 plus on-road costs).

The Volvo XC40 plug-in hybrid is capable of driving up to 46km on battery power alone – in ideal conditions – before the turbo-charged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine takes over and provides a driving range of up to 800km before the 48-litre fuel tank is depleted.

It is one of an increasing number of plug-in hybrid vehicles that enable motorists to hedge their bets between pure electric driving range and petrol power.

Dealers have been given pricing and other information on the Volvo XC40 plug-in hybrid so they can start taking orders before the first shipments arrive.

Volvo will also add a pure electric version of the XC40 (pictured below), although that model is not due in local showrooms until the middle of 2021.

Both the plug-in hybrid and fully electric models will launch under Volvo's "Recharge" badge.

The Volvo XC40 plug-in hybrid is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine (132kW/256Nm) matched to an electric motor (60kW/160Nm). This combination sends power to the front wheels via a seven-speed twin clutch automatic transmission.

Performance is perky, if the 7.3-second 0-100km/h claim is accurate. And Volvo says the vehicle can tow up to 1800kg, enough for a small caravan.

Volvo has plug-in hybrid versions of its XC60 and XC90 SUVs, as well as the S60 sedan and V60 wagon. The arrival of the Volvo XC40 PHEV will round out the range.

It will be among the first plug-in hybrids in its segment. The other plug-in hybrid compact SUV due locally in the coming months is the new-generation Ford Escape PHEV, which will be priced from $52,490 plus on-road costs when it arrives later this year.

CarAdvice will publish a review of the Volvo XC40 Recharge in the coming weeks.