While Volvo boasts a strong reputation for safety, it doesn’t have the performance credentials of some of its rivals. However, the manufacturer is addressing that issue with the launch of its Polestar division – and the first model in the range is the V60 Polestar.
The estate’s body has been pumped up, and under the skin is a 345bhp transverse straight-six turbo coupled to Haldex 4WD and a six-speed Geartronic auto. It produces 500Nm of torque from 2,800rpm, and under hard acceleration delivers a scream not dissimilar to that of a Jaguar F-Type.
What’s more, this estate can sprint from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds, which means it can give plenty of racy coupés a run for their money. Unfortunately, the gearbox is a bit of a letdown; its upshifts are slow, while changing down multiple ratios is an exercise in patience.
There’s plenty of grip from the 4WD system, though, and sharp Brembo brakes deliver great stopping power. Those large 20-inch wheels look as though they should deliver a bone-jarring ride, but the standard-fit Ohlins dampers mean that while the car is stiff, the suspension is more comfortable than you’ll find in some performance models fitted with smaller rims.
A near-£50k price tag is steep, yet the V60 Polestar is loaded with gear, including sat-nav, heated leather and Alcantara sports seats and the usual raft of safety kit. Distinctive Rebel Blue paint helps to shout about its potential, too.