By Dave Abrahams
Johannesburg - When the power junkies at Volvo's Polestar performance division say the new S60 Polestar is directly derived from their World Touring Car championship contender, they are not kidding.
The previous model's three-litre engine has been replaced by a two-litre Drive-E turbocharged and supercharged petrol four, which was developed alongside the 1.6-litre version of the same engine that powers the 2016 S60 Polestar TC1 racing cars driven by Thed Bjork and Robert Dahlgren.
The two-litre engine is rated for 270kW at 6000 revs and 470Nm from 3100-5000rpm, thanks to a bigger turbo, new conrods, hotter camshafts, a larger intake manifold and a higher-capacity fuel pump than the same engine in a standard S60 T6 AWD.
All of which reaches the tar via a new eight-speed Geartronic auto transmission and a Haldex all-wheel drive system, backed by Sport Driving mode, which sharpens up all the mappings and opens a bypass valve in the exhaust for a fruitier sound-track, and Launch Control for optimum acceleration.
The Gothenburg whitecoats claim 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds, while top speed is still electronically limited to 250km/h. It's also less thirsty than the three-litre, they say, with a nominal test-cycle fuel-consumption of 7.8 litres per 100km.
Bells and whistles
The new S60 Polestar also shares its base chassis with the TC1 racer, making it 24kg lighter over the front axle and 20kg lighter in total than three-litre S60 Polestar, running on Ohlins adjustable dampers and new 20 inch lightweight rims over 371mm slotted front discs with six-piston Brembo callipers.
As before, rather than a stripped out hot-rod, the 2017 S60 Polestar comes with all the gongs and flutes of the top T6 model, including adaptive bi-xenon headlights with active high beam, auto-dimming mirrors, front and rear parking sensors with rear-view camera, active cruise dual-zone climate control with remote pre-conditioning, an eight speaker voice-controlled Harman Kardon infotainment system with USB, Bluetooth and Internet compatibility, satellite navigation, virtual instrument cluster and mixed leather/alcantara upholstery with cyan contrast stitching - as well as Volvo's full suite of driver and safety aids .
Only 45 of the 2017 S60 Polestars will be coming to South Africa, at R749 500 each, which includes a five-year or 100 000km warranty, a five year or 100 000km maintenance plan, laminated glass and Tracker Connect.