2016 Volvo V60 Polestar Review

Driven: Volvo V60 Polestar Review

We tested out the Volvo V60 Polestar for an entire week and here is what we thought of this super-fast wagon.

What is the Volvo V60 Polestar all About?

The Volvo V60 Polestar, in short, is a Volvo V60 that has been transformed into a track-ready monster by the Polestar division of Volvo. There are only 125 of these cars available to buy in the UK.

As you can imagine this car has been heavily modified over the base V60 spec. Of course this includes a high-power engine, a four-wheel drive system, large 20 inch alloy wheels, upgraded brakes and suspension gear all round, plus more.

 Volvo V60 Polestar Review

The Volvo V60 Polestar has a very undersated look, compared to other cars in its sector. This car is what we would define as a sleeper;  a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The car doesn’t look too dissimilar to the standard V60 and just has a subtle few bodywork changes promoting its additional sporting edge. It has huge 20 inch alloy wheels that have a nice design,the front of the car has two additional splitters added  in the corners of the front bumper and a small blue Polestar badge in the grille. At the rear there is a race car-like rear diffuser with two enormous exhausts either side. Most people probably wouldn’t identify this car to be the beast that it is.

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The Volvo V60 Polestar is powered by a 3L straight six engine that creates 350 hp and 500 Nm of torque. The car uses a 6-speed automatic gearbox that is able to get the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and will do a top speed of a 155 mph. The car uses a four-wheel-drive system giving you maximum traction at all times.

How Does it Drive?

The Volvo V60 Polestar is based on the V60 platform which is obviously a good place to start. Getting into the car there’s plenty of room and it benefits from Volvo’s keyless entry system meaning you can have the key in your pocket and just pull the door handle to get into the car, it really is fantastic. When you start the Polestar your eyes instantly light up as you hear its growl; you know this car is something very special. Next, kick the automatic gearbox into drive and you’re going. If you knock the gearstick over to the left the car goes into Sport mode and the fun really begins, the active exhaust system changes and the rage of the exhaust starts to come out. Instantly, the car feels alive and rapid.

The first time you hit the accelerator hard in Sport mode you feel the full force of the 350 hp. The car rockets forward with lots of grip and no drama due to the four-wheel-drive system. Once at the limiter the car automatically shifts to the next gear, giving you time to keep focused on steering where you want the car to go.

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The clever gearbox that you get from Polestar does allow you to manually control the gear changes if you want to. But from my experience using the paddles to shift gear I felt like there was a significant delay, enough to discourage me from using them in great anger. But don’t let that put you off because this gearbox in full automatic mode works incredibly well, and often feels like it anticipates what you are going to do before you do it.

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The grip levels in this car give you a huge amount of confidence. The four-wheel-drive system mixed with the suspension setup, alongside the wide wheels and super sticky tyres, all work together to create a highly calibrated track car, very capable of cornering at high-speed and deploying plenty of power at the same time. On the road of course you won’t have any need to push the car as far as you would on track, but it does still exceed the expectations that you’d have for the car’s performance on the roads. Even in wet weather you will be able to push it harder than its competitors’ models because of its quality grip.

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The Volvo V60 comes with a launch control mode which enables the car to go from 0-60mph as fast as physically possible. Volvo say this car is capable of doing this all day long without affecting the car’s health. To initiate launch control you simply hold your left foot hard on the brake and then put your right foot down hard on the accelerator. The revs will be limited and will be held for up to 5 seconds until you release the brake pedal and then each of the four tyres grip in and you are fired off towards the horizon. Even in very wet scenarios the car launches incredibly well and this is a super easy launch control mode to initiate compared to others on the market.

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What is it Like Inside?

The interior of the Polestar isn’t too different from the standard V60, which is only really a compliment. You will notice there are a few changes which include blue stitching on the sporty seats, Polestar badging on body sills, a Polestar exclusive gearstick, chrome foot pedals and a couple of additional screens on the infotainment system. The one thing that stood out the most in this magnificent interior is the carbon fibre style floating central console which looks really good and adds a more modern feel to this Volvo interior.

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The V60 comes with lots of tech, as you would expect, such as  satnav, a premium sound system, heated seats, and infotainment system. Not to mention all the other typical safety features that you get from Volvo looking after the passengers inside the car.

Let’s not forget this is still an estate car. So there is plenty of room inside for the passengers but more importantly there is a very large, very practical boot which will meet the needs of 99% of people with cargo space requirements.

The Experience

The Volvo V60 Polestar driving experience is one that truly excites all of your senses. The strongest of all is the unbelievable sound of the exhaust system, even at low speeds the car excites me and makes me just want to drive the car faster and get it to the red line to really witness that symphony in full power. But other senses are excited also including touch feedback through the steering wheel and the amount of lateral g-forces from hard cornering the car. It’s a fun car that makes lots of noise and will really reward the driver whilst keeping them safe at the same time.

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This is an exclusive car sold in small numbers; only 125 available in the UK. The car has solid power with even better driving performance and a super sleek and subtle look that will make people question the spec of the car. However, it does come at a large price and there are faster cars available for the money. But those who are interested in a highly intelligent, very safe, performance car, this is the one to look at.

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Video Highlights


Volvo V60 Polestar

  • Price: £49,775
  • Engine: 3.0-Litre Straight 6 turbocharged Petrol
  • Power: 350 hp
  • Torque: 500 Nm
  • Transmission: 6 Speed Auto
  • 0-62mph: 4.8 Seconds
  • Top speed: 155 mph
  • Weight: 1,811 kg
  • Economy combined: 27 mpg
  • CO2: 237 g/km

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Author: Paul Hadley