By Patrick James on 2018-07-06 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Volvo V60 Polestar
MODEST blue badging, a telltale twin exhuast system and huge tyres are the clues to an estate car that performs somewhere between a hot hatch and supercar.
Volvo's V60 is a fine motor, an executive package with the usual high level of safety equipment the Swede manufacturers is famed for, sleek looking as estates tend to be these days and sporting a two-litre engine, that is surprisingly economical.
Surprising that is, given the performance it can unleash.
Polestar is the performance brand of Volvo Cars, and this model could become something of a collector's item.
It comes complete with additional aerodynamic components made from lightweight carbon fibre that increase downforce for improved performance and handling with the benefit of all wheel drive.
Which is all needed when the 367bhp four cylinder petrol engine with turbo and supercharger is unleashed. Mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, the car rockets to 60mph in 4.5 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph where permitted. A bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing then.
More than 250 components have been changed compared with the 'standard' Volvo model to deliver at times thrilling performance. To cope with the power the suspension has adjustable shock absorbers and powerful six-piston Brembo brakes to shut the speed down quickly.
It does look good, almost like an extended coupe styling with neat light clusters and aerodynamic additions to the standard model include front splitter and side sills, all made in that lightweight carbon fibre, to increase downforce.
In addition there are the high-gloss black Polestar diamond cut wheels and carbon fibre door mirror casings.
The interior is right there in the executive class with high-end fixtures and fittings, the familiar floating centre console and is packed with hi-tech gizmos.
The dark leather upholstery features Polestar stitching and the cabin has soft touch plastics with neat chrome trim offsetting the dark finish.
There is plenty of electrically powered and heated wizardry and the brains of the car is the central touchscreen.
This includes Volvo's Sensus Connect which allows access to a range of web apps and the internet, plus Sensus Navigation with full European mapping with traffic information and lifetime map update all controlled from the seven-inch colour display.
It could become a bit of a collector's item as Polestar will become a new, separately branded electrified high-performance car company with bespoke Polestar-branded cars that will no longer carry a Volvo logo.
The brutally powerful Drive-E engine also offers impressive fuel consumption and emissions at 34.9mpg and 186g/km CO2. It has stop start technology for economy and a pleasing exhaust burble when the accelerator is floored.
As well as the performance and elegance, the V60 is a practical motor with boot capacity 431 litres which stretches to 1,241 with the seats folded. Not class leading but more than adequate.
Handling is excellent with an agile composed feel making the car feel stable with top notch body control, The on-demand all wheel drive and traction control also keep the car on the straight and narrow when you are over-enthusiastic on the accelerator pedal.
Volvo V60 Polestar
Mechanical: 367bhp, 1,969cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 4.5 seconds
Combined MPG: 34.9
Insurance Group: 44
C02 emissions: 186g/km
Bik rating: 36%
Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles
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