New models - Volvo - V60 - Polestar
Volvo loads up its Polestar range with new wagon
V60 family fun bus gets the Polestar treatment as Volvo spreads its racy image
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28 Oct 2014
AFTER being mooted last year, a Polestar-enhanced Volvo V60 wagon will be added to the Swedish company’s sports flagship line-up from January as the Australian concept goes global.
The turbocharged V6 load lugger – production of which was dependent on the success of the S60 Polestar limited-edition sedan launched in Australia in mid 2013 – will join the similarly powered four-door car in showrooms in eight countries, with both versions getting the same fresh tweaks to enhance the driving experience.
The addition of the wagon brings the Polestar range into sync with chief rival Audi’s S4 line-up that includes the Avant wagon.
Volvo’s Australian V8 Supercar Polestar Racing drivers Robert Dahlgren and Scott McLaughlin are said to have played a part in testing the latest iteration, continuing the local contribution to the mid-sized Volvo performance flagship that started out as a Volvo Australia concept in 2011.
The high-performance wagon harks back a couple of decades to British touring car racing when Briton Tom Walkinshaw’s TWR raced Volvo 850 Estate station wagons that were deemed more aerodynamic than the sedan in pre-wing days.
This time, the S60 and V60 Polestar road cars owe their go-fast abilities to Sweden’s Polestar, an independent motor racing and after-market engineering outfit for Volvo in both Sweden and Australia.
Engine performance is unchanged at 257kW/500Nm, as is the pricing of the Polestar S60 sedan at $99,990, plus on-road costs. The new V60 version carries a $3000 premium, at $102,990.
Both versions come with a six-speed automatic transmission with Polestar tuning.
As the V60 is about 64kg heavier than its sedan counterpart, it possibly will be slightly slower in the 0-100km/h sprint than the sedan, which covers the dash in 4.9 seconds.
This is about $5000 more affordable than the Audi competition, which is priced at $105,000 for the S4 and $108,500 for the S4 Avant.
Among the changes on the third-generation Volvo Polestar are bigger 20-inch Polestar alloy rims, running Michelin Pilot Super Sport 245/35 ZR20 tyres.
The Ohlins Polestar shock absorbers have been modified for improved ride and handling, while power is put to the tarmac via the latest Haldex all-wheel drive system with Polestar functionality.
The 3.0-litre V6 gets engine management recalibration, along with a modified transmission program that is said to give the driver greater control over gear selection, faster gearshifts, launch control and curve hold functionality to further improve driving dynamics.
Better brake feel is promised after a change of brake booster and recalibrated ABS for the six-piston Brembo brake callipers and 371mm ventilated front discs.
While the engine has no more power and torque than before, a new full flow stainless steel active exhaust system with 3.5-inch tail pipes reduces exhaust back pressure and provides a more rorty exhaust note.
High-speed downforce has been increased with a newly shaped rear boot spoiler for the sedan and roof spoiler for the wagon.
After starting out as a pilot program for Australia, the S60/V60 Polestar has spread to Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and US.
Volvo Car Australia managing director Kevin McCann said he was proud of the contribution his company had made to the development of the Polestar model.
“Now we are excited to bring the next evolution of the S60 Polestar to the Australian market, and add the versatile performance wagon, the V60 Polestar, to the range," he said.
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