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Polestar pumps out 314kW Volvo XC60 T8

Electric feel: Polestar optimisations focus on five key areas, with the XC60 T8’s engine and transmission performance benefiting the most.

Plug-in hybrid XC60 T8 optimised by Polestar, Volvo confirms October rollout


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11 Jul 2017

VOLVO Cars has announced its performance sub-brand, Polestar, will optimise the flagship T8 from the second-generation XC60 range, with the plug-in hybrid increasing in power to 314kW after modifications.

An Australian launch alongside the rest of the mid-size SUV’s line-up has been confirmed for October this year, while Polestar Optimisation will also be available for D5 and T6 variants.

An official torque figure for the spiciest XC60 is yet to be released, but is likely to be 680Nm like the optimised XC90 T8 released locally in June last year, which is currently the most potent Volvo model yet.

The standard XC60 and XC90 T8 combine a 235kW/400Nm 2.0-litre twincharged four-cylinder petrol engine with a 65kW/240Nm electric motor for combined system outputs of 300kW/640Nm.

After some fettling from Polestar, the XC90 T8 receives increased punch from the internal combustion unit (250kW/440Nm) but not the electric motor, resulting in the range-topper’s final 314kW/680Nm figures, with the XC60 version expected to follow suit.

According to the Swedish car-maker, optimisations focus on five key powertrain-related areas, with engine performance specifically improved thanks to greater power and torque in the mid-range used during everyday driving.

Sending drive to all four wheels, both models employ an eight-speed automatic transmission that also benefits from Polestar tweaking, with quicker shift times and mid-range-focused gear change points.

Additionally, a gear-hold function maintains the same gear when cornering with high lateral g-force, which Volvo says helps “to avoid upsetting the balance of the car.’’With Polestar optimisation, the XC60 T8’s zero-to-100km/h sprint time should decrease to around 5.2 seconds, 0.1s quicker than what its standard version can muster.

This improvement would mirror that of the optimised XC90 T8, which dropped from 5.6s to 5.5s after its upgrades.

Despite the increases in performance, the XC60 T8 maintains its fuel consumption rating of 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle test and 45km pure electric range.

Polestar vice president research and development Henrik Fries said the optimised XC60 T8 was developed with driver engagement in mind.

“Our goal is to create usable performance in everyday driving situations for Volvo owners who want an enhanced driving experience,” he said.

“The new XC60 has provided us with an excellent base to work on, with a dynamic chassis and a state of the art powertrain. With the Polestar optimisation, it makes the new Volvo XC60 a true drivers’ car.”

Volvo revealed last week every new model introduced into its line-up from 2019 will feature some form of electrification, ranging from plug-in hybrids like the XC90 T8 to mild hybrids and pure electric vehicles (EVs).

Furthermore, Polestar is set to become its own standalone sub-brand that only produces high-performance electrified models, with two of which due between 2019 and 2021.

These plans contribute towards Volvo’s greater vision where it aims to sell one million EVs by 2025.

Sold as an accessory, Polestar Optimisation involves a special software being downloaded to vehicles at authorised Volvo dealerships.

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