Volvo now fully owns Polestar as its in-house performance division, and the marriage is getting off to a spectacular start. Not only is Polestar doubling its annual production volume from 750 to 1,500 and growing its footprint from 13 to 47 markets, but the latest Volvo V60 Polestar wagon and S60 Polestar sedan get a new, more powerful 362-hp four-cylinder turbo- and supercharged engine.
The new motor is an adaptation of the 2.0-liter Drive-E engine used in the Volvo XC90 SUV, but Polestar has gone crazy and ratcheted output up significantly from the standard 315 hp. Engineers added a bigger turbo, new conrods, new camshafts, a larger air intake, and a higher-capacity fuel pump.
The totals of 362 hp and 347 lb-ft represent a slight bump from the outgoing Polestar turbocharged straight-six’s 345 hp, and torque is actually down from the outgoing car’s 369 lb-ft, but the new engine is considerably lighter and more efficient. Volvo says that weight over the front axle has been slashed by 53 pounds, which is a result of the lighter engine, its smaller size, and its more favorable position toward the center of the vehicle.
Overall, the new Volvo V60 Polestar is 44 pounds lighter than before. Using its standard launch control, it can now sprint from 0-60 mph in roughly 4.7 seconds, down from 5.0 seconds. This improvement is achieved in part by the lighter weight, but also thanks to a new rear-biased all-wheel-drive system and Polestar-tuned eight-speed automatic transmission (the old model used a six-speed).
“All changes made to the car are about improving drivability and efficiency,” said Polestar research and development president Henrik Fries, in a statement.
Other upgrades to the new Volvo V60 Polestar and S60 Polestar include bespoke 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels with hardcore Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, new slotted front Brembo brakes with six-piston floating-type front brake calipers, and specially tuned electro-assisted power steering (the old model shared its steering with the T6 R-Design models).
Overall though, the formula for the Polestar twins isn’t all that different. They’re fast, they’re pretty, and they’re functional. Carrying over are their ten-way adjustable Öhlins shocks, aerodynamic and cooling body components, upgraded active-exhaust system, unique blue-detailed interior with carbon fiber, and optional sunroof.
As before, the V60 and S60 Polestar are still not track-day cars like you’ll get from Cadillac’s V-Series or BMW M. They’re still 4,000-odd-pound Volvos, just ones with a lot more meatball.
What’s perhaps most significant is what these new Polestar models represent. Given the new high-output Drive-E engine, the new hardware lends credence to rumors of other Polestar models to come. With this engine on board, expect a Volvo S90, V90, and XC90 Polestar in the pipeline.