GET­TING INTO POLE PO­SI­TION

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Driveway - Chris Ri­ley

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.

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