What is it?
On-the-up Volvo has recently unveiled an advanced new platform, a family of cutting-edge powertrains and a trio of gorgeous concepts. All of which is somewhat at odds with this, the first full production car to be offered in the UK from race-born Polestar Performance, Volvo's best-buds tuning house (think Gothenburg's Alpina).
For the Volvo V60 Polestar is a more traditional offering, using the recently departed V60 T6 as its base, which means a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six and six-speed auto 'box (both legacies of Ford ownership) powering all four wheels. It comes in the wake of 2012's 501bhp S60 Polestar 'concept' working prototype.
Polestar's upgrades are deep-running and plentiful. Chassis mods include springs 80 per cent stiffer than Volvo's firmest, manually adjustable Ohlins dampers, stiffer anti-roll bars and a carbonfibre-reinforced front strut for snappier steering - all tuned to accommodate 20in rims.
A twin-scroll Borg Warner turbo, new intercooler and freer-flowing exhaust push output to 345bhp and 369lb ft: 15 per cent hikes over the old T6. The paddle-equipped self-shifter has been thoroughly recalibrated, while a fifth-gen Haldex coupling (lifted from the S60 concept) apportions torque; normally front axle-biased, it defaults to 50/50 with the traction control dialled down, when accelerating or cornering hard. Enlarged Brembo discs with six-pot front calipers work with reconfigured traction control.