Hide your Porsches.
Resurgent Swedish luxury carmaker Volvo has certainly been on a roll these past few days, making announcements that its entire range of vehicles will feature electrified powertrains from 2019, and that its performance tuning arm Polestar will develop into its own brand of high-performance electric vehicles that won’t carry the Volvo iron mark. But before that happens, it will continue to ‘optimise’ vehicles from Volvo’s lineup, including the XC60 in our focus today.
Polestar’s optimisations to the XC60 T8 TwinEngine plug-in hybrid don’t affect the cars’ class-leading emission levels, miserly 2.1L/100km claimed fuel consumption, nor the all-electric range of 45km on a full battery. However, over two decades of experience with Cyan Racing on the track means that all of the cars’ mechanical elements now work in better harmony to provide a more connected, involving driver experience. The ‘optimised’ XC60 now puts out 314kW/680Nm, an additional 14kW/40Nm over the standard car (and identical to the Polestar-optimised XC90 T8 TwinEngine).
“Our goal is to create usable performance in everyday driving situations for Volvo owners who want an enhanced driving experience,” said Polestar R&D boss Henrik Fries. “The new XC60 has provided us with an excellent base to work on with a dynamic chassis and a state-of-the-art powertrain. With Polestar optimisation, it makes the new Volvo XC60 a true drivers’ car.”
The engine and gearbox were given special attention, with an emphasis on providing greater torque and power at the middle of the rev range, which is where most drivers spend most of their time in every-day driving. By making the additional grunt more accessible, the Polestar-optimised XC60 should overtake with greater ease, as well as put down more power out of corners thanks to the performance revisions. The transmission has also been recalibrated to better utilise the mid-range grunt, while also holding onto gears during hard cornering to ensure that the balance of the car isn’t unsettled.
Volvo Australia has yet to comment on the availability of the Polestar optimisations for the XC60, though it’s highly likely to be offered shortly after it makes Oz landfall in October.