Chicago Auto Show: 2015 Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar

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Volvo-V60-S60-PolestarWhat is it?

Volvo’s done this before. In 1995, Volvo unleashed a high-performance sedan and wagon pair called the 850 T-5R, clad in canary yellow, that could hit more than 150 mph. In their short production run, those cars were bright spots on Volvo’s conservative (and slow) lineup. Nearly 20 years later, the S60 and V60 Polestar share the same mission as Volvo’s most powerful, entertaining cars to date. Tuned by Volvo’s racing partner Polestar, this blue duo promises speed in the safest manner possible. And they look dashing while they’re at it.

Why should you care?

If you’ve ever wanted to buy a new Audi S4 Avant (that person would be me), then the Volvo V60 Polestar is a near-exact replica that’s built in Gothenburg instead of Ingolstadt. It’s a gorgeous wagon. The engine is a 3.2-liter turbocharged inline-six with 345 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, the most of any Volvo, mated to a Haldex all-wheel drive system and a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The front brakes are enormous six-piston Brembos (the brand favored by Ferrari) shielded by even more enormous 20-inch wheels that will instantly get scraped at the McDonald’s drive-thru. Everything – the exhaust, suspension, shift programming, even the feel of the ABS – has been tuned by Polestar for that extra edge.


Of course, you can also take the S60 Polestar sedan. Both cars feature blue contrast stitching, Alcantara trim on the doors and thickly bolstered seats, and plenty of badging to let you know this is one fast, limited-edition Volvo. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and can reach 155 mph, likely more were it not for the electronic limiter.

What’s not to like?

If you don’t value high speed and extreme looks, then you’d do better with the R-Design or the lower trims of the S60 and V60. I’ve driven a 2014 S60 T6 R-Design, the top-of-the-line trim that’s one step down from the Polestar, and found it very refined and quick without the added go-fast parts on these cars. Other than the usual problems with flared, giant rims and thin sidewalls, there really isn’t much to harp on here.

When is it on sale?

June 2014. Expect no less than $50,000, which by Audi and BMW prices, is one good deal.


Photos by Clifford Atiyeh/BestRide

Clifford Atiyeh

Clifford Atiyeh

Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Based in Connecticut, he writes for BestRide, Car and Driver, The Boston Globe and other publications.