GETTING INTO POLE POSITION
IT’S no M3 but certainly up there in terms of looks and performance.
The price, at less than $100,000, is also tantalising, perhaps sufficiently so to attract those with a hankering for something a little different?
For those not in the know, Polestar is the performance arm of Volvo, like HSV’s V8 rumblers are to Holden, and the driving force behind Volvo’s V8 Supercar entry.
The team finished its first year of racing with an exciting four victories, 10 pole positions and 10 podium finishes.
The bright blue Valvoline sponsored cars were hard to miss, especially at Bathurst, where they led for the first half of the race before disaster struck.
We drove Volvo’s 373kW beast in Sweden a couple of years back.
The first production models arrived here in limited numbers in 2012, with a turbo-charged 3.0-litre six and 242kW under the bonnet.
The new one still comes with a turbo straight six, but the output has been boosted to 258kW with 500Nm plus of torque, thanks to a new Borg Warner twin scroll turbo.
It’s hooked up to a spe- cially tuned six-speed Geartronic auto that this time around includes steering wheel mounted change paddles.
Volvo has stamped its ownership on the blue livery, but the look is almost too understated in some respects.
A subtle stripe and a set of black wheels might have enhanced things along with some blue brake calipers to draw attention to the Brembo brakes.
Then there’s the square, stylistically-challenged Polestar logo; whoever came up with that should be taken out and shot.
You’ve got to feel sorry for Polestar’s 30 or so staff, all of whom have the logo as a tattoo.
You get a lot for your $99,990, or $102,990 in the case of the wagon.
To the R-Design model it adds 20 inch rims, Ohlins two-way adjustable shock absorbers, premium six pot Brembo brakes, Polestar exterior trim including spoiler, rear diffuser and front splitter, plus 3.5 inch dual tailpipes.
Inside, the leather sports seats are stitched in blue and are embossed with the Polestar logo, together with an illuminated gearshift that also features the logo plus Polestar scuff plates.
The seats are heated front and back with power adjustment for the front seats as well as power adjust lumbar.
Advanced safety systems include Driver Alert, Adaptive Cruise and Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, Blind Spot Information System, Keyless Entry and drive with Personal Car Communicator.
The new model now comes standard with 20 inch bespoke rims, Michelin Pilot Super Sport 245/35 ZR20 rubber, reworked Ohlins shock absorbers and the latest generation Haldex All-Wheel Drive system, with a rear bias tune.
New engine management and transmission calibration offers greater control over gear selection, faster gearshifts, launch control and curve hold functionality.
The brake system has also been reworked with a new brake booster and a recalibrated ABS and stability control system.
A free flowing 2.5 inch active, stainless steel exhaust system is designed to reduce exhaust back pressure.
Yes please. Looks the goods, goes hard. Not as quick as an M3 but $50K less and you’ll never get to put it to the test.
Volvo's hot S60 is a top performer in its price range.