CHICAGO – Volvo for the first time will offer high-performance Polestar variants of its models in the U.S., the Swedish automaker reveals today at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show.
This summer, the S60 and V60 Polestar models will debut as part of a limited-production run. Volvo plans to assemble 400-500 Polestar S60 sedans and V60 wagons in total, with about 100 allotted to the U.S.
Tony Nicolosi, acting president and CEO-Volvo Cars of North America, calls the cars the “quickest production Volvos ever,” capable of traveling 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.9 seconds.
While Volvo and Polestar have had a relationship since 1996, the S60 and V60 are the first Polestar variants already equipped with the racing team’s technology.
Up to now, the automaker only has offered aftermarket Polestar kits, Nicolosi says.
The S60 and V60’s T6 AWD grades are the basis for the Polestar models, which make 345 hp and 369 lb.-ft. (500 Nm) from a 3.0L inline 6-cyl. gasoline engine.
The S60 and V60 T6 AWD grades achieve 300 hp and 325 lb.-ft. (441 Nm) of torque.
The R-Design variants up horsepower to 325 and torque to 354 lb.-ft. (480 Nm).
The cars have a twin-scroll turbocharger from BorgWarner, a new intercooler, and Polestar’s 2.5-in. (6.4-cm) stainless full-flow exhaust system with twin 3.5-in. (8.9-cm) tail pipes.
Volvo ultimately will transition its lineup to 4-cyl.-only models as it launches its Drive-E powertrain lineup and new vehicles based on its upcoming Scalable Product Architecture.
Other Polestar content includes Brembo 6-piston brake calipers; a Öhlins shock absorber system; and Polestar bespoke 20-in. rims.
Polestar also calibrated the car’s 6-speed automatic transmission for faster shifting and curve-hold ability, Volvo says.
The cars will come in just two colors: Black Sapphire or Rebel Blue. Interiors also reflect Polestar’s influence, with upgraded seats and steering wheel.
“This is a real niche product but also a product that is really important for the brand (because it shows) we can make really fun-to-drive cars,” Nicolosi tells journalists following the press conference.
He sees more Polestar variants in the future, but only where it makes sense for Volvo’s lineup, excluding an S80 Polestar sedan as a possibility.
Volvo is in the midst of a lineup transformation, which should result in a new product launch every six months from 2015 onward, Nicolosi says.
“Our showroom looks a little smaller, but it will start growing again rapidly next year as we launch XC90 (CUV) and the products that come after that,” he says.