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This is a very special Volvo S60. It's the first street-legal car developed by Swedish tuning firm Polestar for a specific private customer, rather than as a performance upgrade for Volvo itself and, as a result it is very much more focused than previous efforts - a true performance sedan.
As Christian Dahl, founder and CEO of Polestar, put it: “I developed this car as if it was for me, because I know a lot of active Volvo drivers share my preferences.”
His main focus was to combine a comfortable driving experience with a high level of power and handling, so Dahl started with the Volvo T6 inline six engine, fitting special con rods, and a modified cylinder head and combustion chambers.
It breathes in through a Garret 3171 turbo and a modified inlet manifold and out through a 90mm Ferrita stainless-steel exhaust system.
OUTPUT: 375KW AT 6500RPM AND 575NM AT 5500.
That gets delivered to the blacktop via a six-speed, close-ratio manual gearbox and a tuned, fourth-generation Haldex all-wheel drive system with an electronic limited-slip rear differential.
The chassis has been lowered 30mm on Öhlins three-way adjustable dampers, the track widened 20mm in front and 40mm at the rear, with Uniball bushings all round and stiffer-than-stock anti-roll bars.
It runs on 19” Polestar racing rims shod with 265/30 super-stickums over six-piston Brembo callipers on 380mm ventilated discs in front and special four-piston Polestar-modified callipers on 302mm platters at the rear.
The aero kit consists of a lowered front splitter and larger rear spoiler, a carbon-fibre diffuser and 20mm wheel-arch flares all round.
Inside, the centre console has been lowered to improved the gear-lever ergonomics (remember, Polestar's core business is building racing cars!), the seats have been replaced with Polestar bucket seats and there's non-slip alcantara synthetic suede trim on all the functional areas.
The whole car weighs only 1640kg, scoots from 0-100 in 3.9 seconds and tops out at more than 300km/h.
But more than that, Polestar racing-car test driver Robert Dahlgren said: “To me, the standard Volvo S60 is a very well sorted car; then we developed the chassis, engine and transmission for this car just the way we wanted it, and the result is by far the most impressive street-legal Volvo I've ever driven.
“But I must say that the genuine Volvo feeling is still there.”
This car, as we said, is a one-off, but Dahl is prepared to consider a small run of replicas if the demand is there.
“Polestar's heart and soul is racing and our main focus is to deliver the absolute best results for Volvo on the track,” he said, “But over the years we have also seen a significant increase in demand for Volvo performance cars and parts for the road and we're happy to respond to that.”