By Joe Bruzek on February 7, 2014
Volvo's notoriety as a performance brand is practically non-existent compared to its reputation for safety. We've seen a few R-Design models in the past with sporty intentions, but that name is more bark than bite with mostly appearance add-ons.
Enter Polestar, Volvo's performance tuner that co-developed 2015 Polestar editions of the S60 sedan and V60 wagon to the tune of 345 horsepower that's good for zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds; Volvo says the pair are its quickest production cars to date. More than simply a badge and fancy wheels, the S60 and V60 Polestars have new suspension, brake, chassis and engine hardware to amplify performance credibility.
Volvo announced at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show that only 120 examples of the sedan and wagon are planned for sale in the U.S. when Polestars arrive at dealerships this summer.
The turbocharged six-cylinder under both Polestars' hoods uses a new twin-scroll turbocharger and intercooler to bump power, while spent gases flow through a 2.5-inch exhaust. The standard six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system also feature tweaks with new paddle shifters affixed to the steering wheel, plus a Polestar-developed Haldex all-wheel-drive system. The transmission, all-wheel drive and electronic stability system all have Polestar-specific tuning.
A stock suspension wouldn't do on any other performance package, and the Polestars aren't any different with 80 percent stiffer springs paired with high-performance shock absorbers. The beefed-up chassis has increased rigidity, and the brake rotors are upsized to 14.6-inch front rotors that get stopping power from Brembo-brand six-piston brake calipers. The stylish 20-inch wheels are also unique to the Polestar.
On the outside, buyers have a choice of Black Sapphire or Rebel Blue exterior colors. Aerodynamic enhancements include new front and rear splitters for increased down force and a new rear spoiler and diffuser to streamline airflow.
Volvo says to expect pricing information in the coming months.
Road Test Editor Joe Bruzek covers Cars.com’s short-and long-term fleet of test cars and drives a 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Email Joe