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Here’s something very interesting. Readers Amirul and SK Teoh have sent in images of the yet to be launched Volvo XC40 in Malaysia. It’s not just one stray unit of the reigning 2018 European Car of the Year, but a fleet of the junior Volvo SUV in various colours, all registered with fresh V plates.

The school of XC40s were spotted in an upscale restaurant in Ipoh, and the cars have numbered stickers on the top corner of their windscreens – this resembles a media or customer drive, and Volvo Car Malaysia (VCM) could well have been planning for one over the weekend. Official launch just around the corner?

Anyway, these pics give us a clue on what we’ll get. The XC40s you see here are all in the sporty R-Design trim, and we know that from the gloss black chequerboard front grille, visible twin exhaust tips and rear spoiler. The wheels look like 18-inch double-spoke diamond cut items, and the badge on the hatch shows that it’s a T5.

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The XC40 T5 is powered by 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine with 247 hp and 350 Nm of torque. The Drive-E unit is paired to an eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission, with all-wheel-drive being the only option. The XC40 is available as a front-wheel drive with the T4 and T3 engines but it remains to be seen if those will be offered. No hints that these cars are T5 Twin Engine plug-in hybrids, too.

Should the XC40 introduction follow VCM trends, the initial batch would be CBU imports, with CKD local assembly coming in later to replace the CBUs. We’re expecting launch prices from RM250k to RM300k for this cool little sibling to the XC60 and XC90, which will rival the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

I like the fact that it isn’t a smaller scale copy of the XC60, but a fresh design targeting a younger crowd. Like what you see? More on the XC40 here.

GALLERY: Volvo XC40 T5 in Singapore