Volvo’s performance-oriented version of its XC60 SUV due in Q4 2020, T8 plug-in hybrid version of the XC90 also arriving at last
The very first Polestar Engineered car from Volvo is coming to Singapore, and predictably it’s not a yummy-looking version of the S60, but rather the mid-large SUV in the lineup, the XC60.
The XC60 Polestar Engineered (PE) is based on the XC60 T8 – known here as the XC60 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid – but is tuned for more power, handling, and outright driver fun. Volvo Singapore says the car will be available on an indent basis in Singapore, with the car possibly arriving by the end of 2020.
The inline four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine, which is still super- and turbocharged, puts out 318hp, marginally more than the 303hp of the regular T8, as well as 430Nm of torque up from 400Nm. The electric motor has the same 65kW/240Nm output, but the system combined output is 422hp/670Nm, up from 402hp/640Nm.
On paper the PE nails 0-100km/h in 5.4 seconds – 0.1 seconds quicker than the normal T8 – though like all modern Volvos the speeds are limited to 180km/h, so there’s effectively no increase there. Efficiency goes from 2.6L/100km to 3.0L/100km.
The suspension sees a strut bar and Ohlins shocks, with the Swedish suspension company’s Dual Flow Valve tech and 22 levels of adjustment, plus increased spring rate. Interestingly, these are manually-adjusted – so you’ll have to pop-the bonnet to make any suspension adjustments.
The wheels are 21-inch forged black units, framing 20-inch brake discs with calipers from Akebono. The brakes, like the seatbelts, are finished in yellow-gold. The car’s exterior sees black chrome tailpipes and Polestar badging on the grille and rear.
Polestar is Volvo’s racing and performance arm – like Mercedes-AMG is to Mercedes-Benz – and the first Polestar-tuned car was launched in 2013, as the S60 Polestar. A Polestar Engineered version of the current S60 debuted in 2018, featuring similar touches to the XC60 PE just described.
Polestar/Volvo fans shouldn’t get too excited though, the Polestar 1 and Polestar 2 high-performance EVs are still not coming here.
But this is a good start for Volvo fans who have always wanted a bit more oomph – the S60 PE looks like it would appeal to fans of fast sedans, though there’s no word on when/if that will come to Singapore.
Prior to this the closest we’ve gotten to a truly hot Volvo in recent time was the 180hp V40 R-Design – and that featured Polestar Optimisation, which is like a mild, Polestar-branded tune up compared to Polestar Engineered.
Even further back, the last real performance Volvo here was probably the V70 R from the late 1990s.
What will probably appeal to more people here is the most powerful version of the XC90 seven-seat large SUV. The T8 model will, like the XC60 PE, be available here by the end of the year.
The current version debuted in 2015 and was facelifted last year, and is sold in Singapore with the T5 (250hp) and T6 (315hp) engine variants, both with a 2.0-litre forced-induction inline four.
Like the XC60 T8 (aka Recharge PHEV), the XC90 T8 mates the T6’s twincharged 2.0 to a 65kW electric motor powered by a 11.6kWh lithium ion battery, and it should be good for the same 400+hp as the XC60 and S60 T8 models, with an electric range of up to 40+ kilometres and WLTP efficiency score of 2.8L/100km. 0-100km/h is done in 5.8 seconds, while the top speed is a limited 180km/h.
There aren’t any details yet on pricing, but we imagine the T8 would, like the XC60 and S60, be offered in range-topping R-Design trim, and cost S$20k-30k more than the T6, which retails for S$328,000 with COE currently.
Why ‘finally’? Well the XC90 was the first car with Volvo’s current SPA platform architecture, and also the first car to feature the T8 drivetrain, so it’s a little out of chronology that the first T8 PHEVs from Volvo were the S60 and XC60, which were first announced at this year’s Singapore motorshow.