2017 Volvo S60, V60 Polestar First Drive – I adored the last Volvo Polestar, both the S60 (sedan) and V60 (wagon). Best? No, it got flaws. But the tips right behind the S60 and V60 Polestars are so good that the defects can be ignored. Think about the first Nirvana album, “Bleach.” It did not have the David Geffen-bankrolled main brand appeal of the band’s original smash record, “Nevermind.” Heck, Dave Grohl wasn’t even in Nirvana yet. But “Bleach” is entirely charming in its way. Sort of like the outbound Polestars. Positive, a transverse inline-six is nobody’s idea of a smart layout. More serious, the outdated slow-moving-witted, six-speed automatic transmission experienced no company whatsoever getting in a performance car. However, regardless of the defects, the Polestars had been adorable. Also, unlike the German premium C-segment competitors, Volvo got the good sense to provide its sportiest item to Yanks as a wagon.
Meet the new Polestars. Same simple menu as just before and only a handful of the components are new. The heading grabber is the engine. Good-bye, sideways directly-six; hello, Drive-E motor. For individuals not updated on Volvo lingo, Drive-E identifies Volvo’s supercharged and turbocharged, 2.0-liter inline-four. The same engine as defined in our 2016 SUV of the Year winner, the Volvo XC90 T6. Only for Polestar duty, it is souped up a touch with a new turbo, hooking up rods, camshaft, fuel pump, and fuel filtering, plus a bigger air consumption alongside with 3-inch “full-flow” exhaust systems that increase power from 345 to 362 horsepower. Torque is in fact down a touch from 369 to 347 lb-ft, but finding as for how the cars are now 44 pounds less cumbersome than before, you will not skip the torque. It will, nevertheless, go to show that even with a super- and turbocharger, there is no substitute for the old I-6’s 3.0 liters’ worth of displacement.
Also new (yay!) for the 2017 Polestars is an eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission. Not just are the paddle shifters, luckily, new, they also take care of you to relatively fast gear changes when you move them, a huge distinction between the old Celebrity and the new. The new eight-speed feeds a BorgWarner Haldex all-wheel-drive system that features a biased torque break up of 40/60 front to rear. Put together with sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sports 245/35ZR20 car tires, Volvo is claiming that the S60 can hit 60 miles each hour in 4.4 seconds which the V60 is capable of doing the very same in 4.5 seconds. No term on the quarter mile, but equally Polestars are limited to a top speed of 155 mph. Braking duty is managed by Brembo-14.6-inch discs up front, 11.9-inch discs out the rear. The new wheels sized 20 by 8 inches, sport a small Swedish Race Green Polestar square. (The color’s known as Rebel Blue-Swedish Racing Green’s a laugh.) Suspensions changes feature 80 % tougher springs, 15 percentage more involved anti-roll night clubs, and new bushings. The body gets a little splitter under the nose area and both a spoiler and diffuser in the rear. That splitter offers 46 pounds of downforce.
If you flick the transmission into Sport, you get a launch control setting. Even colder (in a feeling) is the top secret Sport Plus mode. Keep in mind the computer game “Contra” with its popular up, up, straight down, straight down, left, right, followed, correct, select, start the program to trigger cheat function? The new Polestar’s Sports Plus is sort of like that. The first factor you need to do is ensure the car isn’t relocating. Then flip the transmission into Sport. Then with your right-hand push the transmission lever forward ( ) and maintain it there. At the same time with your left-hand move the downshift (-) paddle two times. You will see an orange S blink twice on the dash, and you did it. You are in Sports Plus mode. The point is, Sport Plus setting does not do a great deal. You’re opening up up the exhaust valves a bit more and lengthening the shift factors. But exactly what it truly does is avoid the engine from dropping listed below 4,000 rpm. Privately, I discovered Sports Plus much more manic than beneficial. And apart from, with the paddle shifters, any car owner is active in keeping the revs at the correct level. You exit Sports Plus mode by merely yanking a paddle or relocating the shift lever. I’d contact the whole thing a lot more theater than effective.
Individually, I didn’t attend for real outdated Sports mode all much, either. It can make the engine rev out also high for a not a valid reason. Appears to be loud and buzzy, and truthfully it was in fact all right on the racetrack. But Sports setting got me to feel nervous and stressed on the neighborhood. Component of that could be due to the simple fact that the supercharger is mainly carried out (meaning decoupled) over 4,000 rpm, and as Bob Lutz notoriously said, “Americans buy horsepower but drive torque.” I’m positive the turbocharger offers lots of punch, but the car just noticed like it had been hyperventilating when in Sport. Fortunately, both the S60 and the V60 feel excellent when just in vanilla flavor drive.
Despite the fact that we did spend time lapping the pancake-flat Paul Ricard circuit near Marseille, France, the Polestars are much more happy on winding hill roadways. On the track, the FWD-based mother nature of the chassis demonstrates up. But on the road, it was as strong and planted to drive as an Audi. Understeer does not show up as well terribly unless of course, you’re driving things like you would on a racetrack. On the road, the front end of possibly Polestar can feel both lighter and firmer than before. Transform in was razor-sharp and clean, and despite the fact that the electric power directing wasn’t the very best I have ever driven (think Jaguar), it surely wasn’t the most detrimental (think a German company who will stay anonymous-ish). Hold on the road was outstanding, surely because of a blend of the adaptable Öhlins dampers, the rest of the suspension, and the wise decision to slap on Michelin Super Sports. Power was always there, and though it wasn’t copious by new requirements, every time I looked straight down, I was breaking up the (French) legislation. Volvo’s middle of the-4-second 60-mph claim seems precise. The bottom part line is that any fanatic would appreciate himself or herself behind the wheel of possibly body style.
The updated Polestars are better than the cars they replace. That much is specific. Nonetheless, please understand that they aren’t targeted squarely at the top pet dogs from the Huge German Three. Enough, they are aimed at the volume performance models. Think S for Audi, M Sport for BMW, and right up until lately AMG Sport for Mercedes, as Mercedes now piles everything under the AMG banner. So the new, hot and spicy Volvos will be going up towards the AMG 43 models, not the steroidal 63s. With all that said, you know what? When compared with the S4, 340i M Sport, and C43 (previously identified as the C450 AMG Sport), the S60 and V60 Polestars are quite engaging. The greatest demerit towards the Swedes would be the frankly obsolete navigation and entertainment system. Which is an embarrassment just because equally the XC90 and S90 feature Volvo’s expensive new, large touchscreen system, one of the best in the industry. On the plus side, Volvo has quietly started developing some of the very best searching cars in the business. If you can overlook one obtrusive issue, you’ll end up behind the wheel of a great alternative to well-known sports performance vehicles. My suggestions? Get the wagon, an item that the Germans do not even bother marketing in our country.