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Volvo Polestar creates 314kW XC90

Pole position: A Polestar Performance Optimisation pack has been introduced for the XC90 SUV, bringing power and torque to 314kW/680Nm.

Most powerful Volvo ever lobs in XC90 plug-in hybrid SUV form

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Volvo logo15 Jun 2016

By DANIEL DEGASPERI

VOLVO’s Polestar performance division has developed the most powerful production car the brand has offered, with the XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid flagship tweaked to produce 314kW in addition to 680Nm of torque.

Several optional packages called Polestar Performance Optimisation have become available across the XC90 range, each now available in Australia priced from about $1850 including GST, pending dealership labour costs, but excluding the government’s 33 per cent luxury car tax (LCT).

For the $122,950 (plus on-road costs) XC90 T8 range topper, the 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine has been tweaked to deliver an extra 15kW/40Nm, now 250kW/440Nm, although the electric motor accompaniment is unchanged with 65kW/240Nm.

Claimed 0-100km/h performance drops by one-tenth to 5.5 seconds, although the plug-in hybrid’s claimed 43km electric range and 2.1L/100km combined cycle fuel consumption are unchanged.

The output puts the XC90 in company with other premium large SUVs with a performance bent, such as BMW’s 330kW/650Nm X5 xDrive50i, the 309kW/550Nm Porsche Cayenne S and the 320kW/700Nm Mercedes-Benz GLE500 4Matic.

Polestar listed five key areas of improvement targeted by its optimisation packages including increased performance, improved throttle response, faster gearshift speed, increased gearbox precision and ‘hold’, and more intuitive off-throttle gearbox response.

In a statement the company further detailed improvements to the eight-speed automatic transmission.

“One of the main features of the new optimisation is the gear hold function that holds the selected gear during cornering at high lateral g-forces. This prevents unwanted gearshifts mid-corner that can unsettle the balance of the car, providing the driver with improved response and control during active driving.”

Polestar chief operating officer Niels Moeller added: “By launching our optimisation for the exciting and technically advanced XC90 T8 … this gives customers who want a new level of driving pleasure with their XC90 an easily accessible and attractive performance increase.”

Polestar Performance Optimisation packages have also been engineered to boost the XC90 D5 diesel and T6 petrol model grades that in Australia start from $89,950 and $93,950 respectively, and any Drive-E version of the V40, S60, V60 and XC60, in any case adding $1850 to the price.

In the case of the D5’s 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel, outputs are lifted by 14kW/40Nm to 179kW/440Nm. The T6 mirrors the output increase of the identical petrol engine in the T8 (but without its electric motor).

Other Volvo models have also followed the XC90 range with Polestar Performance Optimisation availability including some current model year 2016 and several yet-to-launch model year 2017 versions of the V40, S60, V60 and XC60.

Preliminary figures – subject to final specifications – indicate the D4 versions of those models jump 9kW/40Nm with each model’s 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder now developing 149kW/440Nm.

The T5 versions of those models shift up 9kW/50Nm with the 2.0-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder now making 189kW/400Nm.

The T6 versions of the S60, V60 and XC60 leap 7kW/30Nm with the forthcoming MY17 version’s 2.0-litre turbo and supercharged petrol engine making 231kW/430Nm in each application.

The XC60 stands alone with its forthcoming MY17 D5 powertrain upgraded by 7kW/30Nm with the 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel making 172kW/470Nm.

Volvo Car Australia is yet to announce MY17 pricing and specification beyond the XC90, however the associated Polestar Performance Optimisation packages will each continue to be priced at around $1850 and will be dealer fitted.

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