Volvo S60 Polestar in SA with 270kW Drive-E power

  • Medium-sized supercar from Volvo
  • Maximum spec list with the price
  • High-performance PoleStar heritage
2017 VOLVO S60 POLESTAR: Image: Quickpic/Volvo
2017 VOLVO S60 POLESTAR: Image: Quickpic/Volvo

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The latest Volvo S60 Polestar is now available in South Africa but the number is limited: only 45 units, updated for the 2017 model year.

Which is numerically greater than the previous halo model in the Volvo world – we folk at the foot of Africa had access to only 28 back in 2015  – and if you’re still of that hugely outdated mind-set that Volvos are pedestrian, think again: this is the quickest road-going Volvo yet.

How quick? some might smirk. Faster than some top high-performance sports cars at 4.7sec to 100km/h and topping out at a limited 250km/h.

2017 VOLVO S60 POLESTAR: Image: Quickpic/Volvo
2017 VOLVO S60 POLESTAR: Image: Quickpic/Volvo

The cars come from PoleStar, Volvo’s recently aquired tuning house akin to the Mercedes/AMG collaboration.

The 2017 Polestar, Volvo told The Corner in a media release, has a whole new drive train for better performance and efficiency than the previous units. Following in the footsteps of the original three-litre version, of which only 28 were ever imported into South Africa, the new S60 Polestar acts as a halo model in the Volvo range.

The new S60 Polestar shares even more of its DNA with the company’s race cars – a specific racing formula in some countries. The new two-litre Drive-E turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine has been developed alongside a 1.6-litre version of the same engine which currently powers the Volvo S60 Polestar TC1 racing cars in the World Touring Car championship (WTCC).

2017 VOLVO S60 POLESTAR: Image: Quickpic/Volvo
2017 VOLVO S60 POLESTAR: Image: Quickpic/Volvo

The cars destined for South Africa share their chassis and engineering philosophy with the racing version but, as WTC driver Thed Bjork points out: “While used in vastly different areas, these cars share more than just technology. The core philosophy is the same and the cars were developed by people with the same passion.

“It’s about creating performance that can be used in all situations, no matter whether it’s about winning a championship or being able to enjoy a safe, functional and fun-to-drive car all year round.”

With 270kW at 6000 rpm and 470Nm from 3100-5000 rpm, the Volvo S60 Polestar’s performance has been improved and remains impressive thanks to the adoption of a new eight-speed, performance-optimised, Geartronic auto gearbox and a Haldex all-wheel drive system sends grunt to each wheel.

2017 VOLVO S60 POLESTAR: Image: Quickpic/Volvo
2017 VOLVO S60 POLESTAR: Image: Quickpic/Volvo

If you’ve found a quiet and winding country road – or enjoy track days, like sensible drivers – than Sport mode and launch control can be invoked, backed by a bigger turbo, new connecting rods, new camshafts, a larger air intake and a higher-capacity fuel pump than that used on the standard S60 T6 AWD.

TRACK-FRIENDLY SUSPENSION

At the other end of the performance scale – again, for sensible drivers! – better fuel efficiency comes by switching to the Drive-E powertrain which, Volvo says, will reduce average fuel economy to 7.8-litres/100km.

The 2017 Polestar is 44kg lighter than its predecessor. It also runs on new 20″ alloy wheel rims, has Polestar-calibrated electro-assisted power-steering and new slotted 371mm-diameter front brake discs whose callipers come from Brembo and have six pistons at the front, four at the back.

The car’s suspension, as before, uses track-friendly and therefore adjustable Öhlins shock-absorbers.

READ MORE Volvo features on Carman’s Corner

Niels Möller, chief operating officer at Polestar, told The Corner:
“This car is properly quick but there’s more… it combines Polestar’s 20 years of racing pedigree with Volvo’s pragmatism and engineering heritage.

“This is a very fast car that you can use every day of the year.”

The price in South Africa will be – deep breath, readers, please! – R749 500 but consider that the cars for South Africa will include:

⦁ 20-inch Polestar alloy wheels.
⦁ Automatic bi-xenon cornering headlights and auto high-beam.
⦁ Auto-dimming mirrors, inside and out.
⦁ All-round parking sensors and rear-view camera.
⦁ Auto dual-zone aircon with rear-seat ventilation and remote (key fob) pre-conditioning.
⦁ Eight-speaker HarmanKardon multi-media infotainment system with USB, Bluetooth, internet compatibility and voice control.
⦁ Satellite navigation.
⦁ Heatable leather/Alcantara steering wheel.
⦁ Leather/alcantara upholstery with heatable seats.
⦁ Cyan (blue) contrast stitching.
⦁ Carbon-fibre floating centre stack.
⦁ Active TFT digital instrument cluster
⦁ Gear-shift paddles.
⦁ Sunroof.
⦁ Keyless access and starting.
⦁ Active twin-pipe Polestar exhaust.
⦁ Adaptive cruise control.

The full package of Volvo crash avoidance/mitigation equipment is also included – six crash bags, anti-lock brakes with emergency pressure assistance, lane-departure warning, pedestrian detection, blind-spot camera coverage, traffic alert, road sign recognition and a ‘driver alert’.

Henrik Fries, vice-president for research and development at Polestar, has the terminal words: “All changes were about improving drivability and efficiency. The base of the new engine carries motorsport technology with solutions such as the combination of turbo and supercharger, and light materials.

2017 VOLVO S60 POLESTAR: Image: Quickpic/Volvo
2017 VOLVO S60 POLESTAR: Image: Quickpic/Volvo

“This works hand-in-hand with our core philosophy and has enabled us to evolve the Volvo S60 Polestar.”

The retail price will include a five-year or 100 000km vehicle warranty, a five-year or 100 000km maintenance plan, laminated glass and Tracker Connect. Four colours are available: light blue, silver, white and black.

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