Volvo S60 Polestar Review

By: Greg Leech

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Volvo S60 Polestar Volvo S60 Polestar Volvo S60 Polestar
Volvo S60 Polestar Volvo S60 Polestar Volvo S60 Polestar
Volvo S60 Polestar Volvo S60 Polestar Volvo S60 Polestar
Volvo S60 Polestar Volvo S60 Polestar Volvo S60 Polestar
Volvo S60 Polestar Volvo S60 Polestar Volvo S60 Polestar
Volvo S60 Polestar Volvo S60 Polestar Volvo S60 Polestar
Volvo S60 Polestar Volvo S60 Polestar Volvo S60 Polestar

Volvo has made Australia the centre of its sporting universe with the release of its most aggressive and exclusive model yet

Volvo S60 Polestar Review
Driven: Volvo S60 Polestar



Volvo has taken the surprising step of launching its most aggressive model ever right here in Australia. In fact, if you don’t live in this wide brown land, well, you just can’t have one; it’s as simple as that. And even then, you may have to be quick; there are only 50 to be had. While it’s a brave move to build-in ‘exclusivity’ (the danger being that take-up is slow and therefore a little stillborn) Volvo refers to the whole shebang as a ‘pilot project’. We read that as, ‘if it can make it here, it can make it anywhere’.

Sharing the same DNA as the 508bhp (373kW) Volvo S60 Polestar Concept Car, the S60 Polestar is the first road car from Volvo Car Group’s performance and motorsport partner, Polestar. Think of it as Volvo’s response to BMW’s M or Mercedes-Benz’s AMG and you will be just about on the money.

In fact, while mixing it at that end of town may be a little optimistic for the S60 Polestar, the truth is that it’s but a poofteenth away from directly competing with the BMW M3, Audi RS4 and the Big Kahuna Merc C63 AMG. Indeed, its performance numbers are pretty flash. The Polestar accelerates from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds, via the six-speed Aisin-Warner automatic gearbox – which also features a launch control system – and a ‘Polestar-tuned’ Haldex 4WD system. In keeping with its ilk, it is artificially limited to a top speed of 250km/h.

The six-cylinder, 2953cc, Borg Warner turbocharged T6 engine has been ‘optimised’ by Polestar with a bigger turbo, new intercooler, revised engine mapping and racing-style exhaust to produce 257kW (350bhp) and more than 500Nm.

The car uses the S60 R-Design as its donor platform, adding in some 76 detail changes over the standard offering.

Key to all this is the use of top-end Öhlins shocks, which are fully adjustable for both compression and rebound damping, in addition to upgraded high-performance brakes and a new aerodynamic package, including a front splitter, rear wing and diffuser – all having been tweaked and modified in the Volvo Car Group wind tunnel in collaboration with the Volvo Research and Development team.

Outside the car is identifiable by the Polestar emblem on the front grille, rear boot and engine cover, a rear spoiler, diffuser and front splitter corners, 3.5-inch dual performance exhaust pipes and black door-mirror covers.

Inside you’ll be hard pushed to pick it from the R-Design T6, save for the Polestar emblem on the leather gearshift knob, Polestar footplates and your very own numbered steering wheel. In fact, a further touch of classy differentiation would add to the exclusive nature of the car. After all, you are poking $109,950 into the dealer’s wallet and, well, I’d want a passenger to know it.

Of course the R-design version copped a whole lot of whizbang gear in the first place including a Dolby 10-speaker surround-sound audio with CD/DVD, MP3, Bluetooth, USB and iPod connectivity with audio streaming and auxiliary audio input.

You get a seven-inch touchscreen with voice control, satellite navigation system, rear camera (with front and rear proximity sensors), driver alert system with lane departure warning, active high-beam control, forward collision warning and road sign speed warnings.

All the trick safety stuff you could ever want is there in spades. Do you like an acronym? Cop this lot: ABS, DSTC (stability and traction control), ACC (adaptive cruise control with pedestrian detection), BLIS (blind-spot information system, SIPS (side impact protection). The list is extensive.

On the road the car quickly announces itself as a sporting offering. A little road-noisy, it’s nicely balanced, the sophisticated chassis package and impressive AWD grip adding up to a very rewarding driver’s car. Grip is simply fabulous and power strongly linear from just off the bottom right through to redline. But it’s that torque that impresses, firing it out of twisty corners like those to be found on the Polestar launch route around Mt. Glorious out of Brisbane with sophisticated agility.

It’s not cheap and in this price realm there are options aplenty, but the S60 represents a real world, four-door five-seater, capable of delivering the kids to school in class-leading safety, all the while knowing those straining neddies are lurking just there under the bonnet. In short, practicality, without giving up on life, is well-served here.


Volvo S60 Polestar

Engine: 2953cc 6cyl, DOHC, 24v, turbocharger

Power: 257kW @ 5700rpm

Torque: 500+Nm @ 2800-4750rpm

Weight: 1684kg (dry)

Gearbox: 6-speed auto

0-100km/h: 4.9sec (claimed)

Top speed: 250km/h (limited)

Price: $109,950

Our Rating: 8/10



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