Volvo has shown restraint inside its new, range-topping performance saloon, except for borderline garish yellow-gold seatbelts. Unusually for such colourful items, they’re standard-fit, their hue a kind of Polestar visual calling card, we’re told. And while they met with the approval of some testers, all agreed they were the kind of embellishment you expect more of a fast Porsche 911 than a petrol-electric Swedish saloon.
Generally, this is a more understated, luxury-first Polestar treatment than the one given five years ago to the six-pot V60 Polestar. There is no carbonfibre here, no Alcantara and none of the go-faster blue stitching we saw last time out.
Modestly bolstered part-leather sports seats with adjustable under-thigh support hold you comfortably but assuredly and are a delight over long distances. Ahead is a digital instrument screen and a head-up display. Between them they relay information clearly and with plenty of flexibility, although neither offers much of a performance flavour about its appearance.
The S60’s materials palette makes for a smart and classy wider cabin ambience, but it hardly advertises the car’s sporting ambition. Front-row passenger space is quite generous by class standards, providing more for taller and longer-legged drivers than cars in this class sometimes can. Second-row space is less distinguishing, but there’s plenty of useful storage around the cabin.
If anything is missing, it’s the sense of occasion you get when you slide on board a sporting option that makes its abilities more apparent. That said, an appreciation of the art of understatement is nothing if not a reasonable expectation of the driver of a fast Volvo.
While most S60 drivers will get a 442-litre boot, that figure is cut to 390 litres in the case of these Twin Engine hybrid examples as a result of the necessary packaging of the rear axle drive arrangements. Unlike with the old diesel-powered V60 plug-in hybrid, however, you’re unlikely to notice much in the way of missing capacity this time around: the new S60 T8 provides good loading length, width and depth, and it really only misses out due to the absence of underfloor storage space.
All S60s come pretty well-equipped as far as on-board infotainment features are concerned. Navigating the firm’s 9in portrait-oriented Sensus Connect touchscreen display now seems more intuitive than it used to, the lateral-swiped menus having become more typical of other manufacturers’ systems than ever it used to be. You get navigation and some connected functionality as standard, as well as onboard wi-fi with a year’s worth of data included.