Volvo gets serious. Germany sweats. Polestar Engineered S60 has AMG and Audi Sport models in its sights. Text and photos by Jordan Katsianis & Stuart Gallagher.
Volvo’s range revamp continues with an all-new S60 compact executive saloon to rival the soon-to-be-revealed new BMW 3-series and Alfa’s Giulia. Closely based on the handsome V60 estate, the new S60 will be the first Volvo built in the USA, and also bucks the class trend in being available with petrol engines only.
If miserly fuel economy is your thing, there’s an alternative in the hybridised T6 and T8 versions, but, curiously, those looking for extra performance will likely be drawn in the same direction. That’s because the T6 and T8 ‘Twin Engine’ plugin hybrids are both more efficient and more powerful than their lesser T4 and T5 siblings thanks to their combination of a twincharged 2-litre four-cylinder driving the front wheels and an electric motor powering the rears.
Those wanting even more performance will be able to order the flagship S60 T8 in ‘Polestar Engineered’ form. Polestar’s upgrades to electrical components and software give the range-topping model a total of 409bhp with 509lb ft of torque – 15bhp and 15lb ft more than standard. Polestar has also paid attention to the chassis, fitting Öhlins dampers, an aluminium front strut brace, six-pot monoblock front brake calipers co-developed with Brembo and gripping 371mm front disc s, and forged 20-inch wheels, all with the aim of further sharpening the driving experience.
Despite the generous power output, the T8 Polestar Engineered is not so much a rival for cars such as the Mercedes-AMG C63 or BMW M3 F80, rather models one rung down such as the Audi S4 and AMG C43. European Volvo fans will have to wait to get their hands on an S60, however, as US and Chinese markets are being prioritised, meaning we won’t see these models in the UK until mid-2019.