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.
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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.