For years, Polestar has been Volvo’s high-performance tuning brand. However, as the world’s desire for high-performance electric vehicles increase, Volvo has decided to make the Polestar a standalone brand for electric-powered automobiles. Reports are rife that the automaker will release the first Polestar model, a sporty coupe in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The 2018 Volvo XC60 Polestar will have a carbon-fiber trimmed body with a mill that churns out over 600 hp. Volvo has also announced that “Polestar Engineered”, a new label will be responsible for tuning of Volvos henceforth. The first model to get performance treatment from the new label is the XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid.
Exterior and interior
The XC60 Polestar is identical to the standard XC60 depending on the trim level chosen because, in addition to the T8 plug-in hybrid, other trims in the lineup in other markets will get the Polestar treatment. The exterior profile of the standard XC60 is impressive and I think it was wise to leave it unchanged for the XC60 Polestar. The model is based on the automaker’s Scalable Product Architecture. The architecture sees the model’s front wheels pushed forward than on the previous generation model to enhance its dash-to-axle ratio. Due to this, the front features a longer hood which looks more horizontal. The cabin is also pushed further back while the front overhang was shortened. As a result, the model’s proportion is similar to that of a premium car; in fact, you can mistake the XC60 for a rear-drive car.
Like the exterior, the cabin of the 2018 Volvo XC60 Polestar is also well appointed with quality materials and clever finishes. Nappa leather is used on the seats, dash and on the door panels as standard upholstery material which makes the model look as premium as they come. This is to be expected considering that the XC60 cabin is designed by a former interior designer for Bentley.
The instrument panel is trimmed with aluminum but one can opt for wood veneer. The tech’s are mostly borrowed from the XC90 including the display screen that hosts the vehicle’s Sensus infotainment system. Other amenities include a 4-zone climate control and a premium Bowers &Wilkins audio system. Its shifter and control knobs have a jewel-like look while the grilles of the speakers sport a perforated satin aluminum trim. All said the cabin of the standard XC60 is attractive and like the exterior, it didn’t warrant any extreme changes.
Engine and performance
This is where all the Polestar effects have been concentrated. The standard XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid is powered by a combination of a supercharged 2.0 L, inline-4 mill mounted on the front axle and an electric motor mounted on the rear axle. The mill in its standard form produces 407 hp. Polestar Engineered has squeezed out an extra 14 hp out of the setup to enable the drive-train produce 421 horses. This places the XC60 T8 Polestar at par with the automaker’s most powerful model, the XC90 T8. In addition, Polestar Engineered has enhanced mid-range torque for the model. The system mates to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This setup is sure to help the model cut down its acceleration to 60 mph significantly; the standard model needs 5.3 seconds to make this run and I think the XC60 Polestar will make the run in less than 5 seconds.
In addition, Polestar Engineered has enhanced mid-range torque for the model. The system mates to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This setup is sure to help the model cut down its acceleration to 60 mph significantly; the standard model needs 5.3 seconds to make this run and I think the XC60 Polestar will make the run in less than 5 seconds.
In addition to the extra power boost, Polestar Engineered has also improved the model’s throttle response, gear-shifting speed, engine performance among others to enhance the driver’s experience. The result is a powerful model that offers a smooth ride.
2018 Volvo XC60 Polestar Price and release date
Volvo is still mum about the XC60 Polestar’s prices; this information will be made public close to the model’s on-sale debut this fall. Expect the price to increase significantly from that of the standard model.