By Asian Journal Auto Editor
Volvo’s performance division, called Polestar Engineered (PE) is now its own entity and continues to upgrade current Volvo models with performance hybridization. Case in point is the availability of the Volvo XC60, S60, and the V60 now available with the Polestar Engineered option.
Our test car for this review was the 2020 Volvo V60 T8 Polestar Engineered wagon – the Swedish automakers sleek, stylish, compact five door wagon. The Polestar magic adds a plug-in hybrid specification that takes a twin-charged (super- and turbo-charged) four-cylinder engine and pairs it with two electric motors (one on each axle) and a 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery, to deliver an impressive 415 hp and 494 lb-ft of torque through an 8-speed automatic transmission. This a 15 hp and 22 lb-ft increase over the standard T8 model. The hybrid Volvo V60 T8 PE can run on pure electricity for up to 32 – 37 km, depending on weather, terrain, elevation, and how many power using features such as HVAC, are being used. All-wheel drive is standard and, the T8 PE can save its battery charge, to operate only on electricity, or integrate the gasoline and electric motors for maximum efficiency.
Charging for the battery is via an outlet on the front left fender of theV60 connected to either a 120V wall outlet that can be done overnight, or if you have a 240V level 2 charger, the V60 T8 PE can be fully charged in less than 4 hours – which is excellent. Fuel Consumption is rated at (City / Highway / Combined) L/100km: 11.1 / 7.3 / 9.4.
Polestar Engineering sets apart the V60 with some unique touches – on the outside, the lower ride height makes the wagon look even longer and sleeker. There are performance lightweight alloy wheels, huge Brembo brakes painted in gold, and black finished exhaust tips. There are also really cool manually adjustable Öhlins shock absorbers under the hood. The interior also has gold colored seat belts for a unique look. Subtle Polestar script adorn the brake calipers and in the form of very discreet badges .Be warned the 2020 Volvo V60 T8 Polestar Engineered is not cheap and starts at $82,300.
Interior wise – the V60 features a roomy cabin with ample room in all directions, while the extra-large panoramic roof allows light to flood into the interior creating the feeling of a much larger interior. Soft leather is abundant in all the contact point surfaces. The seats of course are super comfortable. Black leather with wonderful contrast raised stitching is offset with polished chrome and aluminum trim that feels and looks wonderful. The dash is dominated by the huge Sensus tablet-like touchscreen – now in its latest generation that allows for faster smartphone- like use to operate for infotainment and HVAC controls. Superb Swedish design is much in evidence with the high quality controls and the fit, finish and use of materials. The rear seat is comfortable enough for two average sized adults and are as luxurious as the front perches. The back seat fold down and trunk space is rated at 658-1771 litres
.On the road, with the electric motor powering the car, the V60 T8 is as very quiet with an almost smooth transition to the gasoline engine. Getting into the mid-range of the tach there is a nice surge in torque. Let’s not forget the figures with torque at: 494 lb-ft @ 2,200 t is nothing to ignore. The only downside is teeny weeny touch of roughness when the PE Sport mode is engaged. The chassis is flat iron solid with a firm ride that can of course be manually tweaked via the Ohlins performance shocks with up to 22 settings with a twist of the gold colored knobs on each front suspension tower and in the wheel wells. The nicely calibrated steering is very good. Attacking a fast corner results in a smooth neutral weight transfer with very little body roll thanks to the V60s low center of gravity. Meanwhile the big performance Brembo brakes bring the V60 to a stop with no fade or drama. Performance figures come in at around 0-100 km/h in a not too shabby 4.6 seconds. Note the: the V60 PE can reach speeds of up to 130 km/h on electricity
To sum up, $82,300 is a lot of money to spend on a wagon, but the Polestar Engineered is specification is pretty awesome with its key attributes of enhanced hybrid technology power, performance. Downside are few. Front interior storage is minimum and while the 33-35km electric range may not seem like much, if you commute less than this distance and have a charging station at work you could drive every workday without using any gas! The Volvo V60 Polestar Engineered is a stand out buy if you want a premium luxury wagon. Highly recommended.
2020 Volvo V60 T8 Polestar Engineered Base Price: $82,300 – : $84,350