First Drive

2017 Volvo S60 Polestar review, track drive

The carmaker most famous for safety has launched a 367hp sports sedan. A drive at Kari Motor Speedway tells us what it’s like.

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WHAT IS IT?

Polestar is certainly not a name most Indians will have heard before, not even the enthusiasts. It isn't quite as recognisable a name as M-sport, RS or AMG, but in essence, that’s what it is. It was Volvo’s motorsport arm – and had been for years, building touring race cars – but has only recently been acquired by Volvo as a sub-brand to make fast road cars. That too, at the moment, it only makes two – the S60 Polestar sedan, and its station wagon sibling, the V60. No prizes for guessing which one is being launched here.

The car certainly wants you to know it better. It’s only available in three colours – black, white and this signature Rebel Blue – and it really stands out with its 20-inch wheels and functional aerodynamic addenda that includes bumper and sill extensions, and a boot lip spoiler. It’s also very low to the ground, unlike the standard car; no ‘rough road package’ here, we get the S60 Polestar in the same spec as the rest of the world. All this really complements the S60’s sleek shape, which, for one of the oldest cars in the segment, still looks amazing after all these years.

On the inside, there’s quite a bit of carbon-fibre trim, a bit more chrome, blue contrast stitching and a lot of Alcantara trim everywhere – from the seats to the door pads to the steering wheel. Other than that, the cabin is standard S60 spec, which means it’s rather well-designed, but is also starting to show its age. The digital dials still look really cool, but the infotainment system is now decidedly last-gen, especially if you’ve ever used the new touchscreen in the S90 and XC90. Still, it’s a comfortable place to be, especially in the new, heavily bolstered front seats. Rather than being firm and punishing like on some sports sedans, they’re supportive, but also superbly plush.

What’s also worth noting is that though this is the performance variant, it’s still a Volvo, and so you get every single safety feature as the regular S60, including Blind Spot Warning and radar-guided emergency braking (which, hilariously, fired up a few times while we were going flat out on the track). It’s also got all-wheel drive, which is just as much about providing a safety net as it is getting the most out of the powertrain. Speaking of which…

 

About the author...

Gavin D'Souza

Gavin D'Souza is the Assistant Editor of the Autocar India magazine.

Recent articles by Gavin:
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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 213 | Autocar India: May 2017

We bring you all you need to know about the Hyundai Xcent facelift and the all-new Swift Dzire, along with a WR-V vs Vitara Brezza vs i20 Active shootout, and plenty more this month.
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