I have a unique affection for Volvo. My father used to own the Volvo XC60 back in Dubai. It was a pleasure every single time I drove it, or even while sitting inside as a passenger. Volvo is quite well known as an over- and super-safe Swedish car manufacturer. Back in March, I drove the all new XC90; those folks are doing a tremendous job on their vehicle. I can compare Volvo to Jaguar when they got rid of Ford’s management. Now Geely is spending lot of money, and the Swedish are unleashing to the public attractive designs and excellent driving experiences!
The Swedes tend to do some things that are a bit strange. Volvo is, in general, a very conservative company with a boxy design and great safety features. The years have passed by, and now the style has evolved to a point where customers can throw away the boxy design and finally show off the car!
In the beginning, I did not know what the Polestar was (later, I realized it was like AMG for Mercedes). It always made me think about the two words "pole" and "star", and I figured it was about the pole position in racing (due to the job nature of polestar in motorsport) and star, like the being the first on the pole positon or podium. When I asked the execs at Polestar, they explained that the word Polestar is actually related to a star in the sky.
Anyway, let me tell you more about these vehicles.
With a host of upgrades, from the chassis all the way through to the exterior, the latest from the Volvo and Polestar partnership represent the best automotive experience that Sweden has to offer.
Performance for the real world
Built around the standard V60 and S60, the Polestar editions combine the safety and comfort customers expect from Volvo with numerous adjustments and updates to numerous facets of the vehicles. The result is a wagon and sedan that are at home on any road in any condition, and that will undoubtedly enhance the everyday driving experience.
Starting with the chassis, upgrades include a more rigid structure overall, with new springs that are 80 percent stiffer than those available on the S60 R-Design. High performance Öhlins shock absorbers and 20 inch Polestar-exclusive wheels round out the customized handling package. For greater stopping power, Polestar has included 14.6 inch ventilated front discs matched with six piston Brembo calipers, and 11.8 inch ventilated discs at the rear. The exterior of the V60 and S60 Polestar - available in Black Sapphire or Rebel Blue - carry a number of aerodynamic elements borne directly out of Volvo's and Polestar's wind tunnel testing. New front and rear splitters increase overall downforce and allow for more streamlined airflow, as do the new rear spoiler and diffuser.
Under the hood, the V60 and S60 Polestar feature Volvo's venerated turbocharged T6 six cylinder engine, complete with an all new, twin-scroll turbo as well as a new intercooler. Tweaks to the engine management software have also been made, and the 2.5 inch stainless steel exhaust with 3.5 inch tips, finish out the package. All told, the T6 produces 345 hp (SAE) at 5700 rpm, and 500 Nm of torque available at 2800 rpm. A six speed automatic gearbox with a new paddle shift system and Polestar-developed, Haldex four wheel drive system put the power to the road to carry the V60 and S60 Polestar to 100 kph from a standstill in just 4.9 seconds. Inside, upgraded seats, steering wheel and other items throughout the cabin have been treated with new materials and Polestar-specific colors for an even more engaging feel for the driver and passengers.
Developed from 19 years of motorsport experience, the Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar get a renewed production of 750 cars in 2015 and expand to 13 countries around the world. This move came after substantially exceeding customer demand expectations in 2014.
After rolling out the cars to customers in eight countries last year, the S60 and V60 Polestar will be expanded to the Middle East for 2015, a region showing strong interest for Polestar. The new countries to get the MY16 Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar include Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
The Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar are designed to carry Polestar’s engineering philosophy to deliver an engaging, precise and confident driving experience in all weathers, on all roads and in all seasons. With high performance dampers and brakes which in combination with four wheel drive from a turbo charged 6 cylinder engine creates a driver’s car for all year. The T6 engine delivers up to 350 hp, making the 0-100 km/h sprint in just 4.9 seconds, and an extensively developed chassis, all the right ingredients for a true driving experience.
"We are proud to introduce the S60 and V60 Polestar in the Middle East. The positive response we received from customers all over the world on our very first production car with Polestar is remarkable," said Emre Karaer, general manager of Volvo Car Group Middle East & North Africa.
"The Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar are selling faster than we expected, and we have, as a result, decided to expand into new markets. Polestar remains an integral performance brand partner and this is a clear sign of confidence in the potential of this partnership," added Karaer.
The S60 MY 2016 is expected to reach the Middle East in June. In the UAE, it will be available at Al Futtaim Trading Enterprises with a starting price of AED 229, 900.
Rivals: Audi S4, BMW 335i, Mercedes C400
Pros: excellent handling, accurate steering and balance, classy interior, great engine
Cons: stiff suspension setting is a bit too tough on poor roads
3.0L turbocharged, Inline-6, 350 hp @ 5,250 rpm, 500 Nm @ 3,000 to 4,200 rpm
6 speed automatic, AWD
0-100 kph: 4.8 seconds, top speed: 250 kph, fuel consumption: 10.2L/100 km
Weight: 1765 kg
One word: extreme