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Swedish Snowmobile

When you think of Volvo, you think about sensibility, reliability and of course safety. The Gothenburg based company has been about safety from the get-go, inventing the three-point seatbelt and even the blindspot sensor. Most people then classify Volvo's as "just another family car", which for the most part, is very true. But what if you give the Swedish folks some Absolut Vodka, what could they possibly come up with? Simply said; an absolute masterpiece. When we heard that we could have the new Volvo S60 T8 Polestar Engineered, IN THE WINTER, we were already putting on our snowshoes and ski jackets. The S60 Polestar Engineered is the fastest car Volvo currently produces with a very interesting powertrain. Some might think, "why isn't it just called Polestar"? This is because Polestar is now a separate company, making the Hybrid Polestar 1 Super-GT and the Model 3 contender Polestar 2. Polestar Engineered is the new Performance Badge by Volvo, and it "borrows" some parts from the new independent Polestar company, in this case, electric motors. The S60 Polestar Engineered has a 2.0-litre combustion engine at the front, which is Turbo- and Supercharged, which is called twin charging. Scandinavian car companies seem to do this quite a lot, look a Zenvo, the Danish supercar maker. This 2.0-litre engine is driving the front wheels only, and at the back, there's an 87 horsepower electric motor to drive the back wheels. This results in an eAWD system, which is very good and combined the two engines make a healthy 415 horsepower and 640 NM of torque, enough for 4.5 seconds to 100 km/h. We got the S60, which is the sedan, but there's also a V60, which is a wagon (S stands for Sedan and V stands for Vägen). Some might like the wagon more, but it's refreshing to see a proper sedan on the road, and we were very pleased with the looks. The car we had was finished in Osmium Grey, a dark Anthracite colour. Now let's get to some things that differentiate the S60 Polestar Engineered from normal S60's. The S60 gets a blacked-out grille, mirrors and window frames, as well as some nicely finished 20" wheels. To make the S60 stand out, the brakes and even the air stem covers for the tires are golden and on the inside, the seatbelts are also finished in gold colour. Gold is Polestar Engineered's performance accent colour and one other thing is also finished in gold, the suspension. The dampers in every new Polestar Engineered are made by Öhlins and are manually adjustable. Not like with a button like every other car, you have to open the bonnet and adjust the dampers actually MANUALLY. This brings us to the driving. Luckily for us, the day after we picked it up, heavy snow started in the evening and we were as excited as a little child before Christmas (to be totally honest, it was basically like Christmas). The day after, one of us drove to a little pass in the region and the S60 started to show it's potential. Even though it has an eAWD system, it lets you have fun with the fully Swedish safety experience. Driving up a road fully packed with snow is no problem for the S60 Polestar Engineered. Even with the traction in Sport, the car gives you all the confidence you need and of course still steps in if you really get it wrong. This car is made for winter, snow, skiing and especially having fun in all those situations. But how does it drive, if it isn't cold and wintery? When you're not going up a huge mountain, you're probably using it for commute or road trips. It's extremely comfortable on the motorway and it has one of the best Pilot-Assist systems we have ever seen in a car yet. It has several modes and it can even drive fully electric for 40 km, which is perfect for driving in town or saving fuel, which you don't have to do much of, because it's very economical. You can plug it in at home and probably have enough range to work and back. And what about the performance? As mentioned, the S60 Polestar Engineered is very fast, much faster than you expect it to be, although the transmission could be much better. With a proper double-clutch system, it would feel much faster. But that's maybe the point of it. You don't feel the speed, because it's so smooth and quiet because there isn't a huge screaming engine. This car is all about performance understatement. Most people will think, just another Volvo, and that's the point. This car doesn't scream performance to the normal person, but all Volvo fans will know, what a true beast this car is. We love it for that and hope to experience more Volvo performance in the future.


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