This is the new Volvo V60 Polestar: a production-ready, 342bhp estate that Volvo will sell in the UK in 2014. That’s right, after the concept-only S60 Polestar and C30 Polestar, Volvo’s finally putting its performance arm’s money where its mouth is.
American and mainland European buyers will be able to buy a saloon S60 Polestar, but we Brits only get the wagon V60. It’s a nod, says Volvo, to the classic 850 BTCC estate racing car of the 1990s. Now, where did we leave those ‘Omega’ blue and white livery stickers?
Volvo V60 Polestar: the spec
This isn’t just a V60 with a remap: the entire bodyshell has been reinforced to cope with Ohlins dampers: they’re a whopping 80% stiffer than the sportiest Volvo currently on sale, the S60 R-Design.
Under the bonnet, the 3.0-litre straight-six ‘T6’ engine has a new twin-scroll Borg-Warner turbocharger and a performance intercooler. Breathing out through a fully stainless steel exhaust system (and 3.5in-wide tailpipes!), the engine makes a claimed 342bhp at 5700rpm, and 369lb ft from 2800-4750rpm.
Unlike the concept S60 Polestar, the production V60 Polestar reverts to a six-speed automatic transmission, using a conventional torque-converter rather than a dual-clutch system. However, the paddleshift unit has been gearbox has been recalibrated for swifter shifts, and now boasts a launch control function.
Dial launch mode in and the all-wheel drive V60 Polestar will launch you to 62mph in a claimed 4.9sec, and to 124mph in 17.7sec. The top speed is electronically limited at 155mph.
So it’s not an out-and-out drift machine then?
No – Polestar has focused on making the hot V60 a properly ‘everyday’ performance car, according to its CEO, Christian Dahl. A Volvo insider did confirm to CAR that the Haldex four-wheel drive system has been tailored for a rear-drive bias and should be playful, but at a porky 1822kg, the V60 Polestar isn’t light on its 20in alloys. In fact, it’s 130kg heavier than a standard V60 T6.
What’s reining in all that heft?
A very serious braking system. The V60 Polestar’s ventilated front discs measure 371mm across, and are grabbed by six-pot Brembo calipers. Plus, a three-piece suit of front splitter, rear diffuser and a roof spoiler are said to optimise airflow around the car, thanks wind-tunnel testing data. Gone are the days of brick-shed Volvo aerodynamics.
Lives or dies by the price, surely?
Indeed – a V60 R-Design, well-equipped and swift as it is, is already no snip at £39,435. Volvo hasn’t disclosed full UK pricing for the V60 Polestar yet, but we’re expected a price tag close to £50,000, according to Polestar insiders. It’s sure to be a limited numbers machine too, so if your ideal family wagon is a Volvo that’ll outrun an Audi S4, it’s time to unleash a need for Swede.