Volvo’s move to its new family of four-cylinder powerplants – whose diesel and petrol variants all share the same cylinder block, and where supercharging and turbocharging will do the hard work – is under way. As such, there’s a certain end-of-era naughtiness to the idea of the Polestar’s 3.0-litre turbocharged straight six engine.
Its power increase over the regular variant of the same engine comes courtesy of a bigger Borg-Warner twin-scroll turbo. It helps to produce a 362bhp peak at 5250rpm, with 369lb ft from 3000rpm. The engine runs into the limiter at 6500rpm, so, as the figures suggest, the meat of the performance comes through the mid-range.
The six-speed automatic transmission tends not to leave you languishing at low revs anyway, so there’s always performance on tap. It’s pretty vivid performance, too.
At our test track we recorded a 0-60mph time of 5.3sec, which is respectably close to the official claim, given that we test two up, averaged in two directions and with plenty of fuel on board.
But is it enough performance when an Audi RS4 – more expensive, admittedly – covers the same benchmark 0.9sec quicker? Tough call. At no point on the road does the Volvo feel like it’s short on accelerative urge, but for a car that is meant to be a performance flagship and which carries the burden of a 35 per cent benefit-in-kind tax rate, you could expect more.
In daily driving, though, we suspect you’ll not routinely wish the V60 was faster. Hold third gear as you exit a roundabout at 30mph and 6.1sec later you’ll be at 70mph. An RS4 is only 0.4sec faster over the same yardstick. And the Volvo’s torque converter auto, which gets manual override controls, is a journey-easing accomplice, providing the right amount of creep at low speeds while smoothing gearshifts pleasingly.
Also strong are the V60’s brakes, which let it pull itself down from 70mph in 43.3 metres in the dry, despite a weight as tested of 1805kg.