Hot News

2019 Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered First Drive Review

On Monday, November 26th, 2018

To help set off the introduction of the Volvo S60 – the last piece of Volvo’s top-to-bottom revamp of its lineup — is a special, limited-edition S60 Polestar Engineered.

2019 Volvo S60

It’s not a full Polestar model; it’s analogous to the relationship between AMG Line and full AMG models. But it does bring a wealthy of upgrades both for handling and for straight-line speed. It’s also very limited in production, at least for the first year. We got the opportunity to drive one of these rare Volvos along with a Volvo S60 R-Design, the latter of which you can read more about, here. What we learned is that the S60 Polestar Engineered certainly has its bright spots, but if you can’t get a hold of one, you’re actually not missing out on much.

Naturally a rare, special automobile demands the looks to match, and the Polestar Engineered subtly alters the S60’s already elegant, athletic design. It gets exclusive lightweight 20-inch wheels, black exhaust tips, bright yellow brake calipers, and Polestar badges front and rear. Looking closely, you’ll also discover the words “Polestar Engineered” printed on the wheels and exhaust tips.

The blend of power as well as throttle and transmission settings is focused on comfort rather than efficiency or performance. The Power mode keeps both powertrains active and providing as much power as possible. Start-stop mode is deactivated, the steering, braking, throttle and gearbox are all set to be as aggressive as possible, and stability control is deactivated. All-Wheel Drive mode is for inclement weather conditions and Individual is a mode that can be customized with any combination of the above driving settings.

This is probably because while the electric motor provides 199 pound-feet of torque, horsepower is only 87 extra. That all makes a big difference when the engine isn’t revving much and thus isn’t making much power, but becomes less noticeable as the engine winds up. On top of that, the Polestar Engineered S60 is hauling around a battery pack and motor the T6 and T5 models don’t have to bother with.

The other issue with the Polestar Engineered shared with the other S60s is the sluggish transmission. It takes a long time to execute shifts, as well as responding to paddle shift inputs. While it could potentially be forgiven in other S60s, it’s a real issue in the Polestar Engineered with all its performance pretensions.

This car is strictly for the Volvo diehards that want the top-rung performance Volvo. And that will probably work for Volvo, since only 20 were made available to the U.S. this year, and numbers will likely continue to be limited in the future. But if you don’t bleed blue and yellow, you should be more than satisfied with a more conventional T8 model, or even a T5 or T6.

comment closed