Production Volvo S60 Polestar is Finally Revealed, and It’s Kind of a Dud
All photos from polestar.se
Remember a few weeks ago when we got word that Polestar would finally build a production version of the Volvo S60 Polestar Concept and sell it in Australia? Well, Autoblog hinted that the final version would be slightly detuned from the mental 508hp that bowed in the concept, and yesterday, Volvo finally announced the powertrain figures and configuration for the limited edition Polestar. HOW DOES 350HP SOUND? Pretty underwhelming, actually.
When the concept was first introduced back in June of last year, the automotive press went absolutely apeshit for a high horsepower Swede that had the performance chops to compete with both the compact and midsize German performance models, your BMW M3/M5s, Mercedes C63/E63s, and Audi S4/S6s. It hid more than enough ponies under its hood to wipe the smaller cars across the asphalt while also being able to hang with the big boys. The only problem? The car’s astronomical price. The original concept was purchased for $300,000, while an additional five or six were sold for $200,000 apiece. We knew that when Polestar announced the real-deal Australian version, the price (and likely horsepower along with it) would have to come down to remain competitive in the field, but we didn’t know by how much.
Now that the decision has been made to fit the S60 Polestar with 350hp, AWD, and a six-speed automatic, it is clear that Volvo has misread its audience. Both the turbocharged 5- and 6-cylinder versions of the S60 are competitive with their contemporaries at the big three German brands, as well as the Cadillac CTS and assorted Lexuses, Acuras, and Jaguars. If you want a slightly more powerful version akin to the old S60 R, grab the R-Design, which boosts the power output of the turbo-6 by 25hp. And now the Polestar would add an extra 25hp, along with suspension, brake, and aero upgrades.
No pricing has been announced, but considering the US R-Design price is roughly $4,000 dearer than the S60 T6, I would guess it would be that much more expensive and then a few grand more for the other goodies. So maybe $50,000 for an S60 Polestar, which puts it dangerously close to a two year-old M3 or C63 AMG. Sure, the Polestar will be limited in production for now (Autoblog posits that 100 will be built for Australia), so an uncompetitive price will likely be offset by claims of exclusivity. And my proposed price may end up being on the conservative end, considering the exclusivity factor.
Volvo is testing the market down under, and if the S60 Polestar ends up being a hit, it will likely make its way to other countries. Volvo faces significant challenges, though, as the Polestar doesn’t seem to be much of a match for the established players in the segment. A 4.9 second 0-60 mph time is fine, but it is positively spanked by the M3, the long-reigning champ of the hi-po compact sedans. For as much as I gripe about the S60 Polestar, I sincerely hope Volvo brings it overseas, on the condition that power output is bumped significantly. Americans are all about horsepower and brand perception, and with Volvo already outmatched in the latter, the former has to be brought up to speed to warrant consideration.
Volvo S60 Polestar Gallery
Volvo S60 Polestar Production Reveal