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Volvo unveils new XC40 plug-in hybrid

Volvo’s new T5 Twin Engine petrol-electric hybrid powertrain debuts in the XC40.

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Volvo reaches an important milestone in its industry-leading powertrain electrification programme with the debut of the new T5 Twin Engine hybrid system in the multi-award-winning XC40 SUV. The introduction makes Volvo the only manufacturer to offer plug-in hybrid versions across its entire product range.

Power and efficiency

The T5 Twin Engine combines Volvo’s new 1.5-litre three-cylinder 180hp petrol engine with an 82hp electric motor in a hybrid system that delivers 262hp. This makes it the most powerful powertrain in the XC40 range. This power is balanced with strong environmental credentials: preliminary WLTP figures for CO2 emissions are from just 38g/km (where 19-inch wheels are specified), while combined cycle fuel consumption is expected to be up to 141.1mpg.

The compact, energy-dense lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 10.7kWh, enabling exhaust emissions-free electric-only driving of up to 28.6 miles (provisional data), according to driving conditions and battery charge levels.

The new T5 Twin Engine joins two diesel and three petrol powertrains in the XC40 range, with an all-electric model joining the line-up next year.

A first for the CMA platform

The T5 Twin Engine is also the first to be engineered for use in Volvo’s CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform. It is front-wheel drive, in contrast to the established T8 Twin Engine (390hp) powertrain deployed in larger models built on the SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform, which has all-wheel-drive capability.

XC40 T5 Twin Engine models come with a recharging outlet on the nearside front wing. A 4.5m cable with a three-pin plug is provided as standard.

The powertrain’s efficiency and performance are supported by a new seven-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission, featured for the first time in a new-generation Volvo model.

Improved charging

Charging via the fast-charge cable will completely recharge the car’s high-voltage battery in as little as 2.5 hours. Fully charging via the three-pin plug cable takes between 3.5 and 6 hours.

Every inch the modern Volvo

Displaying cool, clean, contemporary lines, the XC40 blends Scandinavian style with desirability and dynamism customers seek from a compact SUV.

According to Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director of Volvo Car South Africa, South African motorists are definitely “going green”.

“We are seeing this with the Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-in hybrid; interest in this vehicle is at an all-time high. There is currently no plan for the new XC40 plug in hybrid version to come to South Africa but if it did, we would anticipate a high level of interest.”

XC40 T5 Twin Engine technical specifications*

Transmission                             Seven-speed twin-clutch automatic, front-wheel drive

Engine configuration                 In-line, three cylinders

Engine capacity                        1,477cc

Max. engine output                    180hp/5,800rpm

Max. engine torque                    265Nm/1,500-3,000rpm

Max. electric motor output         82hp

Max. electric motor torque         160Nm

Battery type                              Lithium-ion

Battery capacity                        10.7kWh

Total system max. output          262hp

0-62mph acceleration                 7.3 seconds

Top speed                                127mph

WLTP CO2 emissions                 38g/km (19-inch wheels); 41g/km (20-inch wheels); 43g/km (21-inch wheels)

WLTP fuel consumption             112.8-141.1mpg

WLTP all-electric range              26.1-28.6 miles

First deliveries to UK customers from February 2020.

* All technical data is preliminary

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Samsung to release Galaxy Note10 Lite in SA

The Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite, unveiled at CES 2020 two weeks ago, will be released in South Africa next month.

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Samsung has unveiled the new Galaxy Note10 Lite at a preview event in Johannesburg. Building on the legacy of the Galaxy Note series, this Lite model brings key premium features like the latest camera technology, signature S Pen, immersive display and a long-lasting battery, at a more accessible price point. The Galaxy Note Lite is positioned between the Galaxy A Series and Samsung’s flagship devices. It will be launched in South Africa in February, with a recommended retail price of R12,999.

What’s different from the Note10?

The Note10 Lite drops support for wireless charging, waterproofing, and a curved screen. Other than that, it’s a very capable device at a far lower price

“The Galaxy Note devices have met consumer demands around the world and has proven to be popular in South Africa,” said Justin Hume, director of integrated mobility at Samsung South Africa. “These devices represent our continuous effort to deliver industry leading innovations, from performance and power to intelligence and services. The Galaxy Note10 Lite will make the experience more accessible to South Africans.”

To read the full breakdown of device specifications, click here.

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Sony Xperia 5 scores high

The latest compact flagship from Sony, the Xperia 5, scores a high 95 in DxOMark.

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The Sony Xperia 5, announced in September 2019, is the latest compact flagship, intended as a more affordable, pocket-friendly alternative to the full-sized Xperia 1. Key features on the Xperia 5 include a 6.1-inch OLED display, as well as the high-end Snapdragon 855 chipset with 128GB of internal storage and 6GB RAM. Storage is expandable up to 1TB via micro SD.

The main camera boasts the same triple sensor and lens setup as on the Xperia 1. All three sensors offer 12MP resolution, with a large 1/2.55-inch sensor for the main camera, and a smaller 1/3.4-inch sensor for each of the ultra-wide and telephoto modules. The main sensor is coupled to a 26mm-equivalent f/1.6 aperture lens; there’s also a 16mm-equivalent f/2.4-aperture ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 52mm-equivalent f/2.4-aperture lens offering x2 optical zoom shots.

Other features include 5-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) and predictive Dual Pixel PDAF autofocus on the main and telephoto cameras, eye-tracking autofocus, HDR, and LED flash. 4K video is available for 2160p@24/30fps capture on the Xperia 5, but the Sony’s 5-axis gyroscope-enabled OIS only kicks in for HD video recording at 1080p@30fps.

Key camera specifications:

Triple camera

  • Primary: 12MP 1/2.55-inch sensor with 1.4µm pixels and 26mm f/1.6-aperture lens
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP 1/3.4-inch sensor with 1.0µm pixels and 16mm f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Telephoto: 12MP 1/3.4-inch sensor with 1.0µm pixels and 52mm f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Predictive Dual Pixel PDAF autofocus & 5-axis OIS (main & telephoto)
  • LED flash, HDR, eye-tracking
  • 4K 24/30fps video with HDR
  • Full HD 1080p@30fps video with 5-axis gyro-EIS
  • Although not officially launched in South Africa, it is available from some online outlets.

Click here to see samples of the photography on DxOMark’s website.

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