Volvo S60's Polestar Boost Is Emissions-Neutral, Performance-Positive

Volvo S60 T8 Polestar Engineered; Manufacturer images

Volvo is going electric, but that doesn't mean the Swedish automaker is slowing down when it comes to making its lineup speedier. The latest proof is this: the Polestar Engineered S60 sports sedan, which is set to arrive with a total of 415 horsepower delivered by a four-cylinder engine that's not only supercharged and turbocharged, but also comes coupled to an electric motor. If going green means having this much performance on tap, Volvo is securing a bright future for car enthusiasts.

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"The new S60 T8 Polestar Engineered is an electrified car that does what you want it to," said Henrik
Green, senior vice president of research and development at Volvo, in a statement. "All components have been fine-tuned to work together, delivering a responsive and exciting driver's car."

Last year, Volvo announced all its vehicles would feature some form of electrification by 2019. This fleet will include hybrids, plug-in hybrids with electric-only driving range, and full electric-powered vehicles.

The heart of Volvo's Polestar-badged modifications is the brand-new 2019 S60 T8 Twin Engine sports sedan, which goes on sale later this year. Contrary to what many automakers do when introducing a new model, Volvo opted to bring out the wagon variant first; the 2018 V60 shares the same platform and powertrain options as its upcoming sibling, the S60 sedan.

This elegantly styled wagon could (and really should) give SUV shoppers pause before they automatically go for a bigger, brawnier-looking SUV. Then again, with three SUVs in its own lineup — the subcompact XC40, mid-size XC60 and range-topping XC90 — Volvo might not mind some intrabrand, cross-shopping competition.

In new Polestar Engineered performance guise, the S60 will offer relatively modest power gains compared with the standard model. This translates to 415 hp and 494 pounds-feet of torque in the Polestar variant, versus approximately 390 hp and 472 pounds-feet in the regular S60 T8. According to Volvo, however, this boost in power is "emissions-neutral," and the software upgrades help to improve overall fuel consumption. For the moment, no mileage or range estimates have been revealed.

Keeping this power under control is a revised suspension that uses high-performance shock absorbers, along with an upgraded Brembo braking system — after all, what's the good in going fast if you can't bring things to a safe stop? The beefier brakes feature gold-painted calipers, which peek out from behind new lightweight wheels. Volvo says a Polestar Engineered performance package will also be offered on upcoming versions of the V60 wagon and XC60 SUV.

Equally as important as the sporty hardware under the hood is the fact that the new S60 will be the first Volvo manufactured in the U.S. The official unveiling of the S60 sedan, along with the Polestar-trimmed performance model, is scheduled for June 20 at Volvo's new factory in Charleston, S.C. The facility represents an investment of approximately $1.1 billion and, with the addition of the next-generation XC90 scheduled to come online by 2021, the factory will have an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles.

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