Volvo stays an unsung road warrior
THE Volvo Polestar is fast and sporty but it has one sin, it does not belong to the three big brands and, therefore, it stands a chance of not receiving the attention it deserves.
It is like a chameleon, it changes character and the sports mode made me feel I was driving a totally different car.
Although Volvo has always been known for safety and premium class, the introduction of the Polester has helped Volvo enter the sports car segment with a serious bang.
Volvo’s partnership with Polestar dates from 1996 when it was still known as Flash Engineering. This rich partnership had a single focus on racing and in 2005 the company changed its name to Polestar.
2010 saw the birth of the first road car from the partnership and that was the Volvo C30, but in 2013 the elegant classy S60 was given a boost when an on-road S60 Polester was introduced.
Today, Volvo has acquired the performance division of Polestar, making that nameplate to Volvo what AMG is to Mercedes and the M range is to BMW.
This rich history shows the journey Volvo has embarked on and it gives the big German players BMW, Audi and Mercedes reason to worry.
For a long time since its release, the Polestar was sold only in a few countries but South Africa has been one of the fortunate ones.
The car is fitted with all-wheel drive which takes the power from a 3.0- litre six- cylinder, T6 turbocharged engine through a sixspeed automatic transmission to the road. The combination of 257kW and AWD traction means 0100km/h takes only 4.8 seconds.
When set in comfort mode, the fuel consumption sits at 13 litres per 100km but once shifted to sports mode, and foot applied to floor, the thirsty beast 17l/100km.
But the Polester is not just a sports car; it offers a great experience for technology junkies like me.
For example, the speedometer area flashes the speed limit of the area you are driving in and beeps if you exceed the limit.
It also has a feature called “My Internet”, where you can get builtin Volvo apps that can be used on a smart phone and can also be accessed on the digital screen on the dashboard.
And it is also as safe as any other Volvo with features such as Driver Alert for fatigue notification. Driver Collision Alert allows the driver to set the distance he would like the car to warn him of a vehicle nearby, while the Blind Spot Indicator (seen first on Volvo cars) next to the mirrors and lane departure detector drinks around are part of the technology to help the driver experience of Polestar more pleasurable.
This rebel blue monster comes standard with stylish 20 inch spoked wheels.
It also comes standard with Navigation system, cruise control, parking sensors, reverse camera, seven Harman Kardon speakers, heated both front and back seats, keyless entry and drive, paddle shift and Bluetooth, USB and Aux inputs.
There was only one turn-off, and that was the mixture of cloth and leather interior... especially on the steering wheel. Cloth gets dirty quickly and does not offer the same grip on the wheel so in my view, traditional simple bucket leather seats and leather steering would have completed the look.
But this is a preference and takes nothing away from this Swedish beauty.
The Polestar is priced at just under R740 000 and comes with a 5year/ 100 000 km warranty and maintenance plan as well as unlimited roadside assistance.
And because there will only be around 100 Volvo Polestar cars that will reach our South Africa shores, I foresee a serious demand and bidding by those with deep pockets for this special car.
● Editor’s note: We understand that the entire shipment of six-cylinder Polestars has found owners and Volvo has announced an all-new Polestar, with AWD and a similarpowered (but more economical) fourcylinder turbo motor, will debut in SA later this year. Which means the six-cylinder will become a collector’s item
The Volvo Polestar will have the major German players worried.