“All Polestar products are developed for people like ourselves – for those who appreciate driving with full control.”
That’s the quote that catches the eye first, its prominence on the front of the Volvo V60 Polestar’s specification guide hard to miss.
It’s an interesting line, particularly when attached to the V60 Polestar, which shares the same key specifications as the S60 Polestar we’ve previously tested.
In the S60 it felt as though the control sat more with the car than the driver, given its all-wheel drive traction, benign chassis, filtered steering, suite of safety kit and automatic transmission.
Transfer those characteristics into an attractive ‘Estate’ body, which adds not only size but significant weight (at 1834kg, the V60 Polestar is 68kg heavier than the S60) and any illusion of feelsome driver control evaporates before you’ve even jumped on the wagon, so to speak.
Before we proceed, it’s worth reviewing the V60 Polestar’s specification. It’s powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six, producing 257kW at 5700rpm and 500Nm from 3000-4750rpm. Zero to 100km/h is accomplished in 5.0sec, as against the S60’s 4.9sec claim, and both are speed limited to 250km/h.
The V60 Polestar also shares the Haldex all-wheel drive system of the sedan, as well as the impressive Brembo brake setup, with 371mm discs and six-piston calipers up-front. There’s two-way adjustable Ohlins suspension, 20-inch Polestar alloys and 245/35 Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber on each corner.
Slip behind the large, Nubuck-trimmed steering wheel, noting the small but nicely-hewn gearshift paddles for the six-speed automatic transmission, and fire the big-six up to a resonant idle as you kick back into the nicely-trimmed leather seats.
As Alex noted in his S60 review, the powerhouse twin-scroll turbo six could be a little more cabin-disruptive but it provides a strong spread of torque, if not a real kick as you approach the 6500rpm red-line. That’s partly due to the weight of the package, but it never feels as strong as the claimed acceleration figures suggest.
The six-speed automatic remains in the V60 Polestar, as opposed to the eight-speeder in the S60 R-Design, and it feels aged against it, lacking intuition at regular road speeds, though it does a solid job of manual-shifting when the paddles come into play.
Jump onto the left (as opposed to middle) pedal and the Brembos provide reassuring, predictable progression and bite, though you could imagine carrying this mass into corners on track would see them fade eventually.
The ride is firm in the day-to-day, and one could argue that it is carrying too much front roll stiffness, as the front-end can fall into understeer when pushed; the onset of which can be slightly masked through the steering. Yes, there is some weighting in the rack, and progression through its lock, but it can fall behind when tackling consecutive corner sequences.
Settle the V60 Polestar into the corner, however, and you can mash the right pedal into the carpet with confidence, the Haldex system splitting drive to ensure a total-traction exit.
Priced from $102,990 (a $3000 premium over the S60), the Volvo V60 Polestar is endearingly different, however there are better driver’s cars available for the money.
- Stands out from a crowd
- Big-name collaborators
- Performance with practicality
- Extra weight dullsdynamics
- Never less than firm riding
- Steering could be sharper