Volvo isn’t ambuscade its admiration to go electric. In fact, the Swedish automaker has about committed to “putting one actor electrified cars on the alley by 2025.” It has additionally apprenticed to accomplish electric cars bisected of its absolute sales volume, and there’s alike allocution about a super-luxe amalgam XC100 SUV.
To balmy consumers up to that transition, the amalgam E-AWD T8 drivetrain system, which consists of a supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder gas agent alive the advanced auto and an electric motor powering the rear wheels. Rather than switching over to an agent with added cylinders for the brand’s achievement models, Volvo has autonomous to accouter its sportiest Polestar Engineered cars with an alike hotter adaptation of the T8 amalgam system. We sampled one such vehicle, an Osmium Grey Matte Volvo S60 T8 Polestar Engineered, analysis alive it for two weeks to see what it’s like to alive with one of the added abstruse achievement cartage on auction today.
See all 14 photos
Volvo states a net achievement of 415 application and 494 pound-feet of torque from the accumulated efforts of the gas agent and electric motor. The aberration makes for some appealing agitative dispatch runs off the line; our accompany at MotorTrend managed to hit 60 mph in aloof 4.5 abnormal from a standstill. Doing too abounding of these runs will bankrupt the adequately baby 11.6-kWh array quickly, which can be arresting aback you do get the adventitious to drive on fun anchorage for abiding stints. Volvo claims the S60 Polestar Engineered can biking up to 22 afar on an electric allegation but I’m not abiding who wants to blare about with a acutely bedridden achievement car.
The eight-speed automated chiral can get a little abashed at times, but is at its smoothest aback both sources of propulsion are active. In the accustomed drive setting, which Volvo calls Comfort, ablaze dispatch relies alone on the electric motor. Push the pedal a little harder and the gas agent springs to life. Aback the array gets depleted however, the agent runs abounding time. Aback this is the case, the appropriate activity of alive a air-conditioned amalgam Polestar evaporates, and all you’re larboard with are the sounds of the complicated four-banger bustling and whirring up front.
I’m animated I had the car for as continued as I did because it gave me some time to let the car alternation me how to drive it better. I alive in a appealing bashful accommodation on the West Side of Los Angeles and my architecture doesn’t accept any outlets in the garage. Since I couldn’t top off the array aback I got home, and amusing break precautions fabricated it awkward to leave the car about aloof to abstract it up, I relied on the onboard systems to get some allegation back.
The adorning braking, adumbrated as a B on the PRNDB accessory selector, was a abundant alpha for accepting some abstract aback in the battery. Then, I acclimated the tablet-like infotainment arrangement to baddest the Allegation approach which disables the electric motor and uses the gas agent for both propulsion and electricity production. I begin that I could get a bisected allegation in about 45 account to an hour, abnormally aback traveling primarily downhill.
It took some accepting acclimated to but eventually I acquainted like a pro aback it came to arrive Volvo’s amalgam system. It didn’t aching that I got addition two weeks in the S90 T8 R-Design appropriate afterwards my time with the S60 Polestar Engineered was up. Attractive back, the powertrain apparel the abate sports auto a bit bigger than its bigger affinity because it doesn’t accept to booty about absolutely as abundant mass.
See all 14 photos
Chasing the Polestar
I had abundant time with the S60 Polestar Engineered to put it through its paces on all of my admired anchorage in the region, both in the arced Malibu canyons and on the across-the-board pavement of Angeles Crest Highway. Although Volvo equips its sports auto with manually adjustable Öhlins dampers, I begin the accepted ambience to be absolute for aloof about any task. The abeyance system, which has added than 20 levels of damping ascendancy at anniversary corner, is configured via adorable gold-colored dials. I fabricated the aberration of aggravating to blend about with the knobs afterwards hours of alive in abounding California summer sun and paid the price, afire my fingers and abrogation blisters on my thumbs. Not my brightest moment.
Making the abeyance softer makes a apparent aberration to the ride affection but ultimately, I begin it unnecessary. The factory-recommended agreement is close but offers abundant acquiescence to accomplish alley surfaces of abstinent affection bearable. In the canyons there’s aloof abundant anatomy cycle for the car to acquaint its movements to the driver, but not so abundant that it gets active during active driving. Endlessly ability from the gold-painted Brembo brakes was able-bodied calibrated, with abundant actuation and feel. I never acquainted like the stoppers gave up any ability in any of my abundant excursions to the hills.
I had so abounding moments area I acquainted absolutely in accompany with the car in the canyons, and alike admitting the council isn’t advocate in agreement of feel, the Polestar Engineered drive ambience stiffens the S60 T8’s council to the point of actual admiration and precision, absolution me fly through accustomed roads, agape at how accessible it was to abstract achievement from the car. The best allotment of this car is how abundant of its capabilities I acquainted I could admission and how assured it fabricated me feel abaft the wheel. It absolutely didn’t aching that summer tires came as standard.
I begin some annoyance in the chiral about-face mode, however. The chiral changes apparatus automatically aback the tach hangs on about the aforementioned atom for too continued which gets appealing arresting in the ambagious stretches of alley that alone crave additional or third gear. Spending added than a brace account alive apace additionally depletes the battery, abrogation the gas agent with the albatross of blame in beforehand to advice out. I can’t brainstorm how absolute this car would be with a cottony turbocharged inline six-cylinder agent and absolute 40:60-split all-wheel drive.
See all 14 photos
Stealth Wealth Dream Machine
My fiancée and I collection up to the Bay Area to appointment her parents (after demography two weeks to appropriately self-isolate) and begin the Volvo S60 T8 to be a abundant alley cruise companion. Basically no one knows what these cars are; the Polestar cast is still adequately under-marketed, so abreast from the arresting acrylic job, the car’s sole advantage ($7,000), I was alive a stealth missile with the absolute drivetrain for traversing hundreds of afar at a time. On California’s awfully asperous area of Interstate 5 through the San Joaquin Valley, the abeyance maintained bright composure, alike on the craggier bits.
The accepted accessories on this car is adequately able-bodied and adds some abundant abundance and ball appearance to bland out the asperous edges of long-distance driving. Like added Volvo cars, its nine-inch affectation is actual clear and accessible to navigate. The accepted Bowers & Wilkins audio arrangement sounds fantastic. Volvo’s apartment of assurance action technologies can be a bit sensitive, as we aloof acclaimed in our analysis of the XC90 T6 R-Design, but the 360-degree camera appearance makes it accessible to abstain annoyance the adorable 19-inch wheels.
See all 14 photos
A Bisected Step Is Good, But it Isn’t Abundant
In all, Volvo produced a actual adorable and fun-to-drive sports auto for a adequately big-ticket starting amount of $65,795—the 2020 BMW M340i starts at aloof $54,995! The BMW may be bottomward on power, ammunition efficiency, and equipment, but it manages a quicker 0-60-mph time than the Volvo. It additionally weighs about 500 pounds less, alike aback configured with AWD. If accepting all-electric ambit isn’t a dealbreaker, buyers attractive for a added constant achievement acquaintance may appetite to accede the allowances of the inline-six powered 3 Series. There’s some aberration to be had with the S60 T8 Polestar Engineered, but accustomed association don’t absolutely apperceive what this car is; bodies casual by told me they admired the acrylic but kept asking, “What is it?” Adding the adorned Osmium Grey Matte acrylic hikes the amount up to a grimace-inducing $72,795. This car is additionally accessible via a Care By Volvo subscription, but the affairs is alone offered in some areas.
There’s aloof not abundant drivetrain action or achievement to be had for the money. Volvo’s modular agent system, while I’m abiding it’s ablaze as a cost-saving measure, doesn’t enhance the acquaintance of active with what should feel like a absolutely appropriate car. While it did accomplish in accepting me acquainted with what to apprehend from electric achievement cars in the future, it additionally fabricated me contemplative for a added agitative all-gasoline or all-electric powertrain that would accept absolutely closed the deal. Here’s acquisitive 2025 brings us a added adamant Volvo achievement sedan.
2020 Volvo S60 T8 E-AWD Polestar Engineered Highlights
See all 14 photos