Volvo building race-tuned S60 Polestar for the Australians
It's the fastest Volvo sedan we've ever seen, but we won't ever see it. And we'd like it to pack even more power.
But the S60 Polestar you see here isn't capable of tackling the hottest Mercedes AMGs or the Jaguar XFR-S, painted in the same shade. It's packing just 350 horsepower -- down from the ferocious 508 of the S60 and C30 Polestar concepts -- and it's for sale only in Australia, the land that commands its very own niche market of high-horsepower sedans.
"The Australian market for performance cars is, and has always been, strong," said Matt Braid, managing director of Volvo Cars Australia, in a statement. "We are delighted to be able to offer our customers the Volvo S60 Polestar, a car more than capable of getting into the thick of the action in this competitive segment of the market."
But to be honest, we'd like a little more juice on this S60, even if we'll never see one on our shores.
Volvo's current top-end S60, the T6 AWD R-Design, puts out 325 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. The Polestar S60, much like the Polestar packages offered on the XC70 wagon, bumps the power by an insignificant margin on a chassis that's no lighter. But unlike Volvo's other Polestar models, which are simply reflashes to the car's engine control unit, the S60 Polestar is highly tweaked inside and out -- and that we can respect.
A new sport exhaust system with 3.5-inch wide tailpipes, upgraded springs and suspension components, Brembo brake pads, launch control for the six-speed automatic gearbox and an all-wheel-drive system biased for more torque at the rear wheels are all impressive. But with a new turbo and intercooler, couldn't Volvo have gone further, to at least 400 horsepower?
Volvo's S60 Polestar concept allegedly could hit 100 kph (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds and reach a 186-mph top speed, enough to tackle Audi's hot RS4. The company did offer a production version of the C30 Polestar for the U.S. last year, but with just 250 horsepower. Volvo didn't announce pricing or availability for the S60 Polestar.
This may sound like a petty complaint, but if you've ever checked out the specs of the Ford Falcon GT or the HSV ClubSport R8 -- two leading Australian performance sedans with more than 430 horsepower apiece -- you'll know what we mean.
Still, Volvo may be playing it cool. Both the Falcon and ClubSport are a good 400 pounds heavier and come only in rear-wheel drive, so their traction and overall acceleration could be about the same as the lighter, all-wheel-drive S60. Volvo claims a 0 to 100 kph time of 4.9 seconds, which is about par with those American-Australian sedans.
We'd just like to see a Volvo whoop them even harder than that.
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