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Volvo has revealed a new T5 Twin Engine hybrid powertrain alongside a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, both dedicated for use on models riding on the brand’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) – think V40 hatchback, or the much-anticipated XC40 SUV that was just spied – and will later be offered on base 60-Series models.

We’re reporting to you live from Gothenberg, Sweden, at Volvo’s ongoing “Drive Electric” event, where we’ll also be taking a closer look a the more familiar T8 Twin Engine in the XC90 SUV as well — but more on that later.

While the T8 Twin Engine is limited for use on Volvo models based on the larger Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), such as the S60, XC60, S90, XC90, the T5 Twin Engine here will instead serve in cars based on the smaller CMA platform. At a later point, we understand that Volvo has plans to use the new powertrain even in its 60-Series cars, with the goal being to make hybrid models in that segment even more affordable.

The EU6-compliant T5 Twin Engine combines the Swedish marque’s new 180 hp 1.5 litre three-cylinder Drive-E engine and a 55 kW electric motor. The total system output of this compact powertrain will equate to 250 PS and nearly 400 Nm of torque, targeting a theoretical 6.5-second century sprint – it’s unclear which future Volvo model this is based on, but rest assured it’ll be for a CMA one.

T5 Twin Engine on CMA

Much like the T8 Twin Engine powertrain, the more compact T5 Twin Engine will also offer a healthy full-electric driving range, here, over 50 km — comparably, the XC90 T8 Twin Engine with its 60 kW electric motor and 9.2 kWh battery has a EV range of up to 43 km. To help achieve this, the CMA-underpinned plug-in hybrid models with the T5 Twin Engine powertrain will have a 9.7 kWh lithium-ion traction battery.

However, while SPA-underpinned T8 Twin Engine models like the XC90 are effectively hybrid all-wheel drive models with its combustion engine driving the front wheels while the electric motor drives the rear, the CMA-underpinned T5 Twin Engine powertrain strictly sends all power to the front wheels only. Where the SPA models get their electric motors mounted over the rear axle, in the CMA architecture, the electric motor is positioned within the engine bay.

Interestingly, Volvo’s traction battery is designed to form a rectangular shape, with an integrated liquid cooling system that runs along and between each of the stacked, linked, cells. The rectangular traction battery is positioned within the vehicle’s centre tunnel, just as it is and will be in all SPA, CMA electrified models.

Volvo’s engineers also tell us that the reasoning behind the unique location of its battery is to keep it protected from any potential surrounding impact, and at the same time not compromise the boot space of its plug-in hybrid vehicles.

In the case of its future CMA-, SPA-based full-electric vehicles, which would naturally require more battery power, Volvo says that it will use up the space created by the lacking fuel tank, and if it must, also some room in the boot to fit the additional battery cells.

The CMA and SPA architectures were designed from the beginning to accommodate hybrid, plug-in hybrid, full-electric and regular petrol/diesel powertrains. The two platforms will in the future underpin Volvo’s entire range of vehicles, so do expect a lot of shared and common items, be it in terms of engines, transmissions and electrification.

On top of introducing the new T5 Twin Engine, Volvo also revealed a new seven-speed wet dual-clutch automatic transmission, for use in CMA models only — the larger SPA models will continue to use the eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission for the time being.

The new dual-clutch transmission is wholly Volvo-owned and designed, unlike the previous six-speed DCT used by the brand, which was a Getrag Ford Powershift unit. In its plug-in hybrid models, only even-numbered gears (2, 4, 6) will be used when the car is in full-electric driving mode, forming a three-speed electric powertrain.