VOLVO Car Australia has quietly retired its six-cylinder turbo S60 sedan and
Polestar wagon performance flagship twins as it awaits the arrival of
new-generation plug-in petrol-electric hybrid Polestar excitement machines,
some time in the future.
The three-year-old six-cylinder Polestar S60 and its V60 sibling are among six
variants culled from the revised range in a 2016 model update.
Although details of the refreshed range are still sketchy, we know the company
has slashed the price of some remaining S60/V60 diesel variants by up to $5315
in an effort to re-energise the model that accounted for 1000 sales or just 2.0
per cent of the medium luxury car segment last year.
Volvo is on record as saying its new Polestar models will get electrification
to aid performance as part of its shift away from large petrol engines to
hybrid and full electric models.
GoAuto understands the Polestar petrol-electric power unit is a development of
Volvo’s new hybrid powertrain that is set to debut in Australia in the new
plug-in XC90 T8 Hybrid about June or July this year.
In that guise, the powertrain combines a 235kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine –
blown by both supercharger and turbocharger – with a 65kW electric motor for
300kW of power and 640Nm of torque to speed the big SUV from zero to 100km/h in
5.6 seconds while sipping just 2.1 litres of petrol per 100km.
It drives the front wheels via an Aisin-Warner eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The electric motor drives the rear wheels. In all-electric mode, the XC90 can
cover 43km on battery power alone.
A similar - if not identical - hybrid powertrain will be dropped into the S60
e-Drive that is due in Australia before the end of the year.
A some point, the Polestar version of that powertrain now being perfected by
Polestar Performance in Sweden
can be expected to get considerably more power and torque to rival, and
probably exceed, the likes of BMW’s 317kW/550Nm M3.
This output would shame the now-discontinued S60/V60 Polestar variants that
develop 257kW/500Nm from the 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder.
The current S60 Polestar AWD sedan was developed at the instigation of Volvo
Australia. It made its debut here in mid-2013, with the wagon version following
in October 2014.
Originally priced at $109,950 plus on-road costs, the company later hacked $10k
out of the price to try to increase its appeal.
Although a breakdown of sales by variant is not available, Polestar sales
appear to have been meagre, despite promotion though an expensive V8 Supercar
racing campaign in Australia.
That racing involvement via Melbourne-based Garry Rogers Motorsport looks to be
on shaky ground, with Volvo executives telling Australian journalists at the
Detroit motor show that they believe the program could have one more year to
The move to electrification at Polestar appears out of sync with the big
5.0-litre V8 racing category, even though rules are set to change to allow
smaller engines under the upcoming Gen2 rule changes.
Meanwhile, Volvo has sliced its current S60 and V60 line-up by not only
deleting the two Polestar vehicles but also the S60 and V60 T6 AWD R-Design and
entry-level V60 T5 Kinetic and D4 Kinetic.
However, the company has added a new variant to the V60 side – the Cross
Country D5 Luxury AWD wagon – at $63,375.
In all, the S60 line-up now comprises six variants, starting with the $49,990
(plus on-road costs) 1.6-litre petrol T4 Kinetic and topping out with the
$62,990 2.0-litre T5 R-Design.
The revised V60 line-up kicks off at the Luxury level, in diesel D4 at $57,695
and petrol T5 from $59,990, and tops out with the $63,990 T5 R-Design.
While the base S60 T4 Kinetic price remains unchanged, Volvo has slashed $1000
from the price of petrol variants and between $5205 and $5315 from diesel
Other changes and updates to the S60/V60 range are yet to be spelled out.