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Pole position: The Volvo S60 T6 R-Design is now three-tenths of a second faster to 100km/h with the help of Polestar software.

Volvo R-Design models get performance boost thanks to Polestar computer software

3 Apr 2012

VOLVO is boosting the power and torque of a range of its sporty R-Design vehicles by applying the company’s Polestar tuning software.

This follows a successful trial of the power-boosting engine management software – developed by Volvo’s motorsport partner – on the limited-edition S60 Polestar model late last year.

However, while the S60 Polestar cost $10,000 more than the S60 R-Design on which it was based, the latest addition of the software to the range of upgraded R-Design models results in price increases of between $1500 (on the C30) and $3500 (on the XC60 diesel).

Applied to the T6 (turbocharged V6) engine in R-Design variants of the S60, V60 and XC60, the software – along with fast-spooling turbos and changed throttle mapping – produces an extra 18kW of power (to 242kW) and 40Nm of torque (to 480Nm), as well as extra mid-range punch.

This slices three-tenths of a second off the 0-100km/h sprint times of all three models, to 5.8s for the S60, 5.9s for the V60 and 7.0s for the XC60 SUV.

Five-cylinder diesel XC60 D5 R-Design models also benefit, but gain only 11kW (to 169kW) and 30Nm (to 470Nm), taking 0.2s off the 0-100km/h time (now 8.1s).

18 center imageThe turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the C30 T5 R-Design gains 15kW and 50Nm, dropping the hatchback’s 0-100km/h sprint by some 0.4s to 6.3s with the six-speed manual (down 0.3s to 6.8s for the five-speed auto).

Fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures are unchanged by the extra performance.

While the 50-vehicle run of S60 Polestars were priced at $82,990, the performance advantages can now be had on the mid-size sedan for $75,490, an increase of $2500 over the previous S60 R-Design.

The same price premium now applies to the other T6 models, the V60 R-Design (78,490) and the XC60 R-Design ($78,490), while the diesel-engined XC60 D5 R-Design is $3500 dearer ($72,490).

The C30 R-Design is $1500 more expensive at $43,490 for the manual and $44,990 for the auto.

Polestar was founded in 1996 in collaboration with the Volvo Car Corporation to focus on research and development through motorsport, racing various models in Swedish and world touring car events.

The Polestar software tuning upgrade is endorsed by Volvo and was previewed at the 2011 Melbourne motor show in July before being applied to the 50-vehicle run of S60s late last year.

Volvo Cars Australia managing director Matt Braid said the run of S60 Polestars was a direct result of the positive reaction the concept car generated at the show.

“It was only natural that when the opportunity arose to further develop our Polestar association, we leapt at the chance,” said Mr Braid.

“Australia is a performance-oriented market and this software optimisation in a number of our key products allows us to broaden the depth of performance offerings from Volvo.

“By adding Polestar’s performance software to select R-Design models, we are able to optimise our performance models further and give the discerning buyer a true stealth weapon option.”

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