Hot versions of the S90 and V90 will turn to hybrid power and are due to launch in 2018
Jim Holder
23 February 2017

New Volvo S90 and V90 Polestar models won’t launch until at least 2018 but will use high-performance hybrid power as the Swedish firm seeks to further differentiate itself from German rivals.

The decision to launch with hybrid power is motivated by Volvo’s desire to be perceived differently from the likes of Audi’s RS, BMW’s M and Mercedes-AMG. However, company bosses have indicated that developing electrified performance cars will take time, pointing to a 2018 launch.

At last month’s Detroit motor show Lex Kerssemakers, president of Volvo America, said the new-look Polestar won’t launch for around two years, but added: “There’s a plan, but nothing to talk about. We will talk soon, but we’re still working on it internally.”

Volvo UK’s managing director, Jon Wakefield, declined to reveal specifics, but said: “Polestar is going to come out with something very exciting and a little bit different. We think it is going to shake up the market.”

Although there has been no official confirmation of the powertrain, Polestar officials have previously indicated that they were looking to optimise the T8 hybrid system, which is available on all of the newgeneration Volvos based on the firm’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA).

In the XC90, the T8 combines a 314bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that is both supercharged and turbocharged for 295lb ft with an electric motor producing 81bhp and 177lb ft. By comparison, a BMW M5 has 552bhp and 501lb ft.

Our Verdict

Volvo V90

The Volvo V90 is less dynamically poised than some rivals, but it's still a deeply compelling machine

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Although the power and torque outputs are expected to rise for the Polestar models, Volvo engineers are also said to have focused on improving response and drivability while possibly sacrificing some of the standard car’s all-electric range of 24 miles.

Having collaborated with Polestar since 1996, Volvo bought the tuning and motorsport company outright in July 2015 and last year recruited Volvo UK’s then managing director, Nick Connor, as its chief executive.

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Comments
4

23 February 2017
Basically they've only got one engine, a 2.0 4 pot that after adding a Turbo, supercharger, Battery, electric motor hits 314hp so can't compete against an BMW M, Audi RS, AMG etc. So it goes on the back burner for a couple of years.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

23 February 2017
...the 314hp is for the petrol engine alone. Combined hp is just over 400 if I remember correctly.

23 February 2017
Compared to an M5 etc and you'll still end of with a stressed 2.0 4 pot and complicated electrics. Which is why they've put it on the back burner

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

23 February 2017
I have been a Volvo driver for decades now and really admire that they walk their own line… I still can't work out why they are bothering with the whole Polestar nonsense and trying to take on the established performance players…just stay quirky and keep away. I know of one chap who has a Polestar V60 and he says it was a huge mistake buying it, preferred the R Design version he had before…So, in summing up offer R Design for people who desire a sporty look with modest power outputs and avoid a power war confrontation you can't win...

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