Back behind the wheel of the S6o Polestar – what’s new from Volvo for 2015? – EFTM

Back behind the wheel of the S6o Polestar – what’s new from Volvo for 2015?

I was only lukewarm when it came to my last review of the race-track inspired Volvo S60 Polestar. The second-generation go fast Volvo left me a little underwhelmed but...
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I was only lukewarm when it came to my last review of the race-track inspired Volvo S60 Polestar. The second-generation go fast Volvo left me a little underwhelmed but now a few tweaks here and there have convinced me that the third generation Volvo Polestar S60 is a serious fun machine.

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What’s New?

The interior remains almost entirely the same with a simple yet well-groomed, luxurious layout. There’s the Polestar blue stitching, an illuminated gear shifter and aggressively contoured Polestar sports seats clad in Nubuck and perforated leather. Enthusiasts will spot the new sports pedals and foot support finish plus a little more velvety Nubuck on the steering wheel.

New custom 20” Polestar alloy rims wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport 245/35 ZR20 tyres really fill out the wheel arches and are joined by an enhanced rear spoiler which rounds off the exterior changes.

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But the S60 Polestar is now a whole lot more epic with a drivetrain that has been given a decent dose of reprogramming. The engine and transmission have been supercharged with a jolt of computer wizardry. Faster gearshifts, a more effective launch control system and the ability to handles curves with more finesse has made a huge difference.

The seemingly bullet proof six-piston Brembo braking system has also undergone a recalibration and now works better in conjunction with the ABS and stability control system.

Fun Factor

So why has my tune changed? Well largely because I had the opportunity to experience the S60 Polestar off the leash and away from well, speed limits. On a private track I realised just how much potential lays beneath those blue corporate colours. The latest generation Haldex All-Wheel-Drive system provides an almost unbelievable level of grip and control, the harder you steer into a corner the more effective its road holding abilities prove to be.

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In sport mode the usually subdued exhaust note becomes throaty and at full throttle almost screams a roar of delight, it is very un-Volvo and highly addictive. Throttle response is first-rate and finding the right gear even without using the paddles is near impeccable. Tapping into the 500Nm of torque leaves you giddy, willing for more and more.

This may sound like crazy talk but I actually had more fun driving the Polestar at the limit than the BMW i8 we filmed on the same track, on the same day. An ex highway patrol officer who joined us was also shocked by the car’s capabilities.

Put simply this is a beast and one not to be underestimated.

Ins and Outs

The six-cylinder turbo-charged T6 engine produces 257kW at 5250rpm and 500Nm at 3000rpm. This is matched to a six-speed Adaptive Geartronic box with sports mode and gearshift paddles. There’s a revised full flow 2.5” stainless steel active exhaust system, with 3.5” tail pipes. Further work has gone into the Öhlins Polestar shock absorbers, which can still be manually adjusted to suit the driver’s personal preferences.

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There’s still that ludicrously placed temporary spare wheel, before it was strapped on the floor of the boot, now it’s covered by a box

The Tech Inside

image106963_bVolvo loves safety technology, as it should. Some of it is simply gimmicky, the red light glowing at varying degrees of intensity to warn you about tail-gating is the first function you turn off. However the most innovative feature is speed sign recognition and one that really works. Although it can’t seem to read variable electronic signs it has no trouble picking up most others, even the temporary speed signs placed for road works.

An excellent 7’’ colour screen with satellite navigation beams bright and is controlled by a smallish rotary dial control knob.

Hip Pocket

The Manufacturer’s List Price for the S60 Polestar is $99,990, a wagon variant is now available, the V60 Polestar which comes in at $102,990. The performance edge of the Polestar sees a hefty average of 10.2L/100km fuel sucked up, remarkably I almost equaled that at 10.3L.

EFTM Rubber Stamp

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This is an outstanding car, the sort of car your wife would even be happy with. There’s not quite the sense of occasion BMW or Mercedes have in any Volvo but the third-generation Volvo S60 Polestar is the most fun you can have sitting down, in a Volvo. It earns The EFTM CREDIT Rubber Stamp of Approval.

 

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Motoring

Chris works at Australia's leading radio station 2GB. He's worked on three radio Olympic games broadcasts, attending Beijing 2008 & London 2012. Deep down Chris harbours ambitions to one day sit behind the microphone himself. Aside from radio his other great passion is the motor car. Strangely he owns a Toyota Camry Hybrid, he defiantly rejects the knockers. Chris is married to Gillian and resides in Sydney's North West. They have Sam the English Springer Spaniel and Felix the Burmese cat to keep them company.
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