Volvo has introduced its first three-cylinder engine in its 91-year history, which will be available first for the XC40. The new T3 1.5 litre petrol unit expands the compact SUV’s engine line-up, along with the addition of Volvo’s current 2.0 litre four-cylinder T4 petrol and D3 diesel engines.

The 1.5 litre turbocharged mill was developed in-house using the same modular design as Volvo’s four-cylinder Drive-E engines. The engine features direct-injection and utilises aluminium for the cylinder block and head.

In terms of output, the T3 is rated at 156 hp at 5,000 rpm and 265 Nm of torque from 1,850 to 3,850 rpm. For now, the engine is paired with an M76 R6.2 six-speed manual transmission (as found on the V40), but an optional eight-speed automatic transmission will arrive next year.

Performance-wise, a T3-equipped XC40 will complete the zero to 100 km/h sprint in 9.4 seconds, and hit a top speed of 200 km/h. Following the Worldwide Harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), the fuel consumption is as low as 7.1 litres per 100 km (combined).

According to Volvo, the new T3 powerplant was deliberately designed to be integrated into Twin Engine plug-in hybrid cars, likely referring to an upcoming T5 Twin Engine that was shown to us previously.

The Swedish carmaker revealed a hybridised as well as a pure electric powertrain option for the XC40 will be introduced at a later date. This isn’t much of a surprise as the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) used for the SUV was developed from the start to accommodate hybrid, plug-in hybrid, full-electric and regular petrol/diesel powertrains.

As for the other engines, the T4 churns out 190 hp at 4,700 rpm and 300 Nm from 1,400 to 4,000 rpm. The engine is mated to an AW TG-81SC eight-speed automatic, and buyers can choose between front- or all-wheel drive. Both will hit a top speed of 210 km/h, but the FWD is one tenths of a second quicker in the century sprint at 8.4 seconds. The FWD also boasts better fuel economy of as low as 7.7 l/100 km compared to the 8.0 l/100 km of the AWD.

Meanwhile, the oil-burning D3 offers 150 hp at 3,750 rpm and 320 Nm from 1,750 to 3,000 rpm. As with the T4, front- and all-wheel drive options are available with the same AW TG-81SC eight-speed automatic transmission. Those who prefer rowing their own gears will get either a M76 R7.0 or M66F six-speed manual – the latter for the AWD powertrain.

Aside from all the powertrain talk, Volvo also announced a new Inscription trim level for the XC40, which joins the existing Momentum and R-Design. The Inscription package includes unique skidplates, side window and grill mesh chrome and model-specific car colours. The interior features a crystal gear knob and Driftwood Décor inlay, which Volvo first introduced in the XC60. There’s also various wheels to choose from, ranging from 18 to 20 inches in size.

If you need even larger wheels, a set of 21-inch Black Diamond Cut alloys are available as an option, along with an accessory styling kit that offers brushed stainless steel skidplates and integrated dual tailpipes.