SWEDISH STAR ALL CLASS

LIM­ITED-EDI­TION VOLVO TURBO-CHARGED WITH FEA­TURES

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Drive Way - Bill Buys

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.

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