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Volvo XC60 Polestar churns out 421hp. Image by Volvo.

Volvo XC60 Polestar churns out 421hp
Volvo’s XC60 T8 Twin Engine hybrid gains midrange torque and peak power, thanks to Polestar.
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Newer articles featuring 2017 Volvo XC60

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What's all this about?

The range-topping Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is hardly a slouch in terms of its performance, given it has 407hp. But, despite this, Polestar has provided an 'optimisation package' which makes it the most powerful production Volvo ever, alongside its bigger XC90 PHEV with the same tweaks.

Polestar? The racing concern?

Well, yes, it's connected to Cyan Racing, which has handled Volvo's on-track exploits for a number of years. But if your memory serves you only moderately well, you might recall that the Swedish company recently announced that Polestar was to become the 'electric performance arm' of the concern. So here we are.

So what sort of power hike are we talking about with the XC60 T8 Polestar?

Umm... 14hp.

Is that it?!

Yes, but don't despair - by modifying the engine performance, throttle response, off-throttle response, gearshift speed and gearbox hold, Polestar has reputedly significantly boosted the mid-range torque and commensurately the driving experiences most people will encounter; things like joining a motorway, blasting past slower-moving traffic on two-way roads and exiting tighter bends. So this makes the 421hp XC60 something of a discreet weapon.

Does it affect the fuel economy and range?

Nope - you still 'get' 134.5mpg and a 28-mile electric range from the T8 Polestar.

What about pricing?

No word on that yet, although as the T8 begins at £56,850 already, it's not exactly a cheap way into performance SUV ownership. However, there are also Polestar optimisation packs for the other models, like the D4, D5 and T5.

Anything else?

"Our goal is to create usable performance in everyday driving situations for Volvo owners who want an enhanced driving experience," said Henrik Fries, vice-president for Research and Development at Polestar. "The new XC60 has provided us with an excellent base to work on with a dynamic chassis and a state-of-the-art powertrain. With the Polestar optimisation, it makes the new Volvo XC60 a true driver's car."

Matt Robinson - 11 Jul 2017

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