First Drive Volvo V60 Polestar

2014 Volvo V60 Polestar
2014 Volvo V60 Polestar
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This is the first official road-legal creation from the petrol-swilling motorsport gurus at Polestar, Volvo’s multi-championship-winning racing partner since the mid-90s. Volvo asked what they could do with a road car, so someone at Polestar hooked a gigantic turbocharger up to a six-cylinder engine and shouted: “Watch this.”

The result is, inevitably, speed. Lots and lots of lovely speed, but behind rather splendid 20-inch Polestar alloy wheels (necessary in order to leave space for the massive new front brakes), there lies some incredibly clever suspension developed with the boffins at renowned Swedish firm 
Öhlins.

Resplendent in Rebel Blue, Polestar’s signature colour, the special V60 is an ocular feast. There’s never been a bad-looking fast Volvo estate, but this tops the lot. The huge wheels jut out towards their centres, so watch out for tall kerbs, but from the blue contrast stitching on the grippy Alcantara seats to the aerodynamically correct body kit, this thing looks fundamentally right.

Only 125 are coming to this country and Volvo reckons that they’ll sell the allocation in no time. Desirability, plus scarcity, equals a future classic.

It’s a Volvo V60 (somewhere) underneath all the muscle, so it has a roomy boot and a handy extra compartment beneath the load floor for small items or coats. In the cabin the main cupholders are a bit awkward to get to, but there are bottle holders in the door pockets too. There’s more than enough room for four average height adults. But, with an interior bedecked in finery fit for a king, you can forget using it as an everyday family biffabout or, heaven forbid, for taking the garden rubbish to the 
tip.

To preserve the Polestar’s oily bits – and therefore the standard V60 service intervals – the power in first and second gears arrives slightly more gently than you’d expect such a fierce lump of Swedish meatiness to. Sprint up to third gear though, past a couple of satisfyingly thumpy upshifts from the six-speed automatic gearbox, and the full force of the Polestar influence is 
felt.

There’s such thrust, such relentless acceleration through third and fourth that you lose all sense that this thing weighs more than 1,800kg. But as monstrously addictive as the speed is, the handling and road-holding is a match for it. The special Öhlins dampers have bi-directional blow-off valves that allow the springs to absorb really sharp hits while keeping the tyres firmly pressed into the tarmac. Add freakish, uncanny cornering grip and across the countryside this thing is a missile. Happily, it’s also remarkably comfortable for bimbling around town. Such ride quality on wheels the size of the Death Star has, until now, been the reserve of much more expensive 
cars.

If there’s a sting in the tail, aside from the relative lack of supply, it’s that the V60 Polestar costs £49,775. That’s expensive, but on the other hand it comes specified with every single option available for the V60. Overkill? What overkill? That, Volvo says, is what the expected buyers want.