SWEDISH STAR ALL CLASS
LIMITED-EDITION VOLVO TURBO-CHARGED WITH FEATURES
JUST when I thought the Volvo Polestar was one of the most pleasant cars I'd ever driven, things got even better.
It was the middle of winter and daughter Jan's plane was arriving at the international airport at 5.30am.
I was on my way at 4.50am in the distinctive blue S60 Polestar. It was cold outside – 3C – and then, hey presto, my hands warmed up.
Yes, a Swedish hottie with warm hands! A leather-rimmed steering wheel that automatically warms up in cold weather is one of the car's many features.
Another is Bi-Xenon ‘bending’ headlights that swivel in tune with the steering so you can see around corners.
And there are many more.
The beautifully proportioned coupe-styled sedan runs on 20inch alloys shod with Michelin super sport lo-pro tyres, has a pair of big calibre stainless-steel exhausts, and a discreet blue badge that identifies it as a sophisticated road car with a lot of race car technology.
Cabin highlights include bolstered and heated leather sports seats, alloy pedals, a left foot support, comprehensive instrumentation with a wide range of data and a superb Harman Kardon Sensus Connect Premium Sound system.
The adaptive digital display has three options of background mode: Elegance, Eco and Performance, and the 7-inch dashboard screen can convert into an internet-connected infotainment hub.
I didn't bother with that, being more than content with the glorious sound from the 3.0-litre straight six's exhausts, which can reach an eye-watering crescendo by switching the transmission to Sport.
The turbocharged engine produces 258kW and 500Nm, drives all four wheels through a quick-shift six-speed Geartronic automatic and can take the 1800kg Polestar to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds, if you employ its launch-control feature.
Top speed is limited to 250km/h and its huge Brembo six-piston brake calipers can stop it from 100km/h in just 34m.
Safety features abound. After all, it's a Volvo and includes the sophistication of speed zone recognition, pedestrian and other traffic collision avoidance.
Comfort, handling and roadholding are all blended into the package, making the Polestar one of the best high-performance allrounders on the planet.
Its electro-hydraulic power steering is excellent.
But while all-wheel drive provides tremendous adhesion, it does not give it the world's smallest turning circle.
Fuel efficiency naturally depends on where and how the car is driven.
Its official average is 10.2litres/100km, but we drove mainly in the city and suburbia and were happy with 12.6.
Accommodation is fine and the seemingly shallow boot can hold 360 litres and a lot more with the rear seats folded down.
At $99,950, the S60 Polestar might seem pricey.
But it's a class act with enormous rarity value.
Only 750 Polestars are built each year, making them much scarcer than Ferraris. Also, Australia will get 140 of them, while the US will have to make do with just 40.
Resident rallymeister Rob took the Polestar for a run and came back with a big smile and a one word summary of the Nordic beast: Astounding.
Volvo's Polestar has features any enthusiast will warm to.