In their first appearance at the annual Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year Awards, Volvo’s new Recharge plug-in hybrid models have achieved great success, netting a haul of four honors between them. The findings are a further boost to Volvo’s plug-in hybrid technology’s reputation for providing excellent efficiency without decreasing performance.
The Hybrid T5 FWD XC40 Recharge Plug-in was crowned the Alternative Fueld Towcar of the Year. The achievement supports the outstanding success of the luxury compact SUV from Volvo, which was the reigning 2020 Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year in diesel-powered form.
The mid-size V60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD estate took the title of the Family Towcar of the Year, while both models also received the best-in-category awards for towing caravans, with the XC40 winning the 1,500-1,700kg class of caravans and the V60 ruling supreme in the sector of over 1,700kg.
Taking into account all the factors that lead to the ‘caravanability’ of a car, including towing capability, roof load and nose weight limits, and boot space, the panel of expert judges assessed the capabilities of 40 different vehicles.
The judges said, commenting on the performance of the XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid: “Delicious kerb weight, delicious economy and pulls like a train.” It’s capable of towing a large caravan, but with hybrid technology, especially when not towing, to improve the economy.
The XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T5 FWD tips the scales to a minimum of 1,812 kg (running order weight) and produces 180 hp and 265 Nm of torque, along with 82 hp and 160 Nm of electric motor from its 1.5-liter petrol engine. Its maximum capacity for braked trailer towing is 1,800kg. The reliability of its petrol-electric powertrain results in 117.7-134.5 mpg of official WLTP combined fuel economy, while CO2 emissions are 47-55g/km, along with an all-electric driving range of up to 27.3 miles (according to battery charge, vehicle load and driving conditions).
“One of the best combinations of amazing power delivery, practicality and a fair price tag” was lauded by the V60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD. It has all-wheel drive and a minimum running order weight of 2,075 kg, with 253 hp and 350 Nm of torque in its 2.0-liter petrol engine, while its electric motor produces 87 hp and 240 Nm.
This helps to give it a maximum towing weight of 2,000kg. Its WLTP performance benchmark figures are 134.5-156.9mpg and 41-46g/km of CO2, along with a range of up to 34.2 miles for electricity only.
Steve Beattie, Head of Sales of Volvo Car UK, said: “Volvo has taken a market lead in rolling out plug-in hybrid versions of Recharge throughout our entire UK model range.” The Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar Awards are a welcome independent approval seal of how our advanced technology provides outstanding real-world results, practicality and flexibility to customers that goes beyond basic fuel and emission efficiency.