The Volvo renaissance just hit max boost before squealing all four tires on its full-throttle launch back to greatness.
The Volvo racing legend grows for 2014 with the American debut of the S60 and V60 Polestar today in Chicago.
As with many blue-sky dream sessions among Volvo R wagon lovers, the enhancements to the S60 and V60 are deceptively simple.
Huge boost via giant new turbocharger, new high-capacity boost cooler
Styling overhaul outside and in
3.5-inch exhaust drums in back
Brembo brakes large enough to stop a Bentley in heat
and Ohlins dampers all around
The stats are very impressive, yet still show some restraint on Volvo’s part in the total power counts. After all, these Polestars must still be as rock-solid reliable as the standard models.
345 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque might not make headlines versus the latest twin-turbo V6 engines like the 420HP Cadillac CTS VSport — but the proof is in the execution and the real-world responsiveness.
These Polestar Volvo engines spool up with far more drama and aggression than any Volvo to date, shooting the sedan and wagon flavors to 60-mph in just 4.7-seconds.
This is a big increase in pace versus the T6 Volvo S60, which only manages about 5.6s to 60 mph despite packing 325 horsepower.
So how are the Polestar Volvo’s different from the stand-alone Polestar engine upgrade that can be fitted from new or post-sale to any Volvo T6 model?
This is a really comprehensive performance makeover. 14.6-inch Brembo front brakes set the tone: this car excels in hot lap scenarios like the best M3 BMW’s.
Other key changes to the dynamics of the Polestar S60 and V60 come from the standard Ohlins racing dampers, which provide a much more consistent and secure setup for track scenarios versus the standard suspensions.
The Ohlins dampers are much-preferred among hardcore drivers because they behave better in rapid transient moves that can confuse other suspension systems. Generally, the ride is harder than standard cars, but still much more comfy on highways than most German performance upgrades.
The standard S60 and V60 (shown below) are also quite handsome with this facelift, and are available now nationwide.
155MPH is in the cards for the Polestar V60 and S60 as well — but the best part?
The style. This overhaul really brings back Volvo’s heyday of BTCC racing wagons. The image of the boxy red 1994 Volvo 850R in full-contact Touring Car races is one of the most iconic elements of the fast Volvo ethos. Seeing these huge family wagons barrel around tracks with perhaps 2-inches of ground clearance was always delightful.
The Polestar S60 and V60 faithfully recreate this dichotomy for 2014, with arrivals set for summertime to American showrooms. Family car, racing pace.
Even that fun-loving bright red paint color is available for 2014 R-Design models. The Polestar palette is Blue, White, Black and Grey in the initial details.
As final note to my new pals at Volvo:
— R-Design is not a good name, because it implies that the R elements are just stylistic. Simply calling the R-Design cars the S60 R and V60 R… could work wonders on the sales charts. Just strip all the tail badges off except the big R to achieve maximum coolness.
— *LOVE* the 3D visual fly-around on NextPolestar.com
Official details from Volvo below.
The Volvo V60 And S60 Polestar Bring Race-Tested Innovation To Real-World Driving
Quickest factory Volvos ever make U.S. debut at 2014 Chicago Auto Show
Special press conference being held Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 11:30am CT during the 2014 Chicago Auto Show
V60 sports wagon and S60 sedan models will be available in two colors
345 hp / 369 lbs.-ft T6 power plant, matched with fully-tuned suspension
Coming to U.S. showrooms this summer
CHICAGO / ROCKLEIGH, N.J. (February 6, 2014) – The Volvo wagon is most definitely back in the U.S., and together with performance and tuning partner Polestar, 2014 also welcomes the fastest factory Volvos to date: The V60 and S60 Polestar. The ultra-limited edition sports wagon and sedan – only 120 Polestar models will be available in the U.S. – carry on the excitement and racing-inspired heritage of Polestar concept car from 2013.
With a host of upgrades, from the chassis all the way through to the exterior, the latest from the Volvo and Polestar partnership represent the best automotive experience that Sweden has to offer. Both models will be on display in the U.S. for the very first time at a special press conference being held Thursday, February 6 at 11:30am at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show.
“We are proud to present the V60 and S60 Polestar models. Both have been developed for those who share our passion at Polestar: That driving really matters and that a true driver’s car should enable you to enjoy driving all year, on all roads and in all weather conditions. These are driver’s cars for real life,” said Christian Dahl, CEO of Polestar.
“It is very satisfying to see how Polestar has been able to combine this level of driving performance in their interpretation of the S60 and new V60, while upholding Volvo’s original service program, class-leading safety features and certified fuel and emission ratings. Customers buying these cars will get the best from both Polestar and Volvo,” said Alain Visser, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales & Customer Service at Volvo Cars.
Performance For The Real World
Built around the standard V60 and S60, the Polestar editions combine the safety and comfort customers expect from Volvo with numerous adjustments and updates to numerous facets of the vehicles. The result is a wagon and sedan that are at home on any road in any condition, and that will undoubtedly enhance the everyday driving experience.
Starting with the chassis, upgrades include a more rigid structure overall, with new springs that are 80 percent stiffer than those available on the S60 R-Design. High-performance Öhlins shock absorbers and 20-inch Polestar-exclusive wheels round out the customized handling package. For greater stopping power, Polestar has included 14.6-inch ventilated front discs matched with six-piston Brembo calipers, and 11.8 inch ventilated discs at the rear. The exterior of the V60 and S60 Polestar – available in Black Sapphire or Rebel Blue – carry a number of aerodynamic elements borne directly out of Volvo’s and Polestar’s wind tunnel testing. New front and rear splitters increase overall down force and allow for more streamlined airflow, as do the new rear spoiler and diffuser.
Under the hood, the V60 and S60 Polestar feature Volvo’s venerated turbocharged T6 six cylinder engine, complete with an all-new, twin-scroll turbo as well as a new intercooler. Tweaks to the engine management software have also been made, and the 2.5-inch stainless steel exhaust with 3.5-inch tips, finish out the package. All told, the T6 produces 345 hp (SAE) at 5700 rpm, and 369 lbs.-feet of torque available at 2800 rpm. A six-speed automatic gearbox with a new paddle shift system and Polestar-developed, Haldex four-wheel drive system put the power to the road to carry the V60 and S60 Polestar to 62 mph from a standstill in just 4.9 seconds. Inside, upgraded seats, steering wheel, and other items throughout the cabin have been treated with new materials and Polestar-specific colors for an even more engaging feel for the driver and passengers.
The new Volvo V60 and S60 Polestar will be available at select U.S. dealers beginning in June 2014, with pricing to be announced in the coming months.
To learn more and to find a dealer, please visit www.nextpolestar.com and www.volvo.com.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.