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Forget M3s and AMGs, Volvo’s first sports sedan, the S60 Polestar, is here

Volvo launched its first performance sedan in India for Rs 52.5 lakh. Here are the first driving impressions.

, ET Online|
Last Updated: May 03, 2017, 06.07 PM IST
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When I first caught a glimpse of the Volvo S60 Polestar, I thought it’s just a souped-up version of the regular executive S60 sedan. The new car has got the sports-car look covered with splitters on the front, spoilers and diffusers on the rear. But is that all? Not really.

First impressions of Volvo’s first performance sedan
Forget M3s and AMGs, Volvo’s first sports sedan, the S60 Polestar, is here

Volvo took a bunch of journalists to the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore for the S60 Polestar's launch and a small drive. Behind its steering, you get to play with 367 horsepower developed by a twin-charged two-litre engine. The turbo and super-charger combo produces 470 Nm of torque, and with new conrods and camshafts, a larger air intake and a higher capacity fuel pump, you will get to touch 100 kmph in just 4.7 seconds. The cylinders have been brought down to four from the previous model and Volvo's Drive-E technology promises low fuel consumption.

All this power is sent to the four wheels via an eight-speed auto and an all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring. The braking duty is handled by Brembo’s six-piston calipers. The Michelin R20 tyres are enough to burn the roads and yet give a firm grip. On the track, there was a slight understeer felt when pushed hard to the corners.

Design
Forget M3s and AMGs, Volvo’s first sports sedan, the S60 Polestar, is here
Sure, the S60 Polestar inherits the S60 sedan silhouette, but, as if it’s a norm, whatever Swedes design, it gives you looks with a purpose (think IKEA). Case in point, the 20-inch wheels are designed in such a way that airflow is channeled towards the brake calipers to keep them cool. Inside the car, the comfy leather seats stitched in blue thread and sportier pedals are pleasing to the eye.

Safest just got safer
Forget M3s and AMGs, Volvo’s first sports sedan, the S60 Polestar, is here
Safety and Volvo are synonymous in the auto world and that is one of the main reasons people buy these cars. The S60 Polestar’s safety is based on radar and camera inputs. It activates an array of pre-emptive safety functions like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, collision warning, blind-spot detection and park-pilot assist.

With a strong safety cage, side-impact protection, it’s almost like you have landed in an insurance cover rather than trouble. Let me explain: The Kari racetrack is a ribbon of tarmac stretched to 2.2 kilometres with sharp twists every now and then. Four cars were put in a batch for hot lapping for three rounds. In the other three cars ahead and behind me were hardened veterans of auto journalism. After a straight stretch and in sheer excitement of getting to drive this car, I braked in late on Lap 2 at a sharp turn and was spun off the track. I was tucked inside safely and managed to get the car back on track, thankfully without a scratch.


So, how fast can it go?
Forget M3s and AMGs, Volvo’s first sports sedan, the S60 Polestar, is here
The car is electronically limited to a top speed of 250 kmph. But there’s more to the S60 Polestar than mere straight-line performance. There’s this thing called Launch Control, where you need to floor the brake and accelerator for 5-10 seconds. In that 5-10 seconds, while the engine is building up pressure, what you need to do is, hold firmly to the steering wheel and think of all your loved ones.

The moment you lift your leg from the brake, you realise you have woken the beast inside this car. It almost feels like you have been tied to the mouth of a cannon gun and fired out.

That’s all Volvo cars are about, giving an experience that you would have only imagined otherwise.


Why you would buy it
The car gives great handling; the gearing feels very natural, sounds great and has got some serious looks both inside and outside.
The car gives great handling; the gearing feels very natural, sounds great and has got some terrific looks both inside and outside. All this coupled with some world-class safety features for Rs52.5 lakh, the S60 Polestar is your best bet.

Sure you have your M3s and AMGs out there, they probably would even outdo this one on the tracks. But what are the chances of putting that kind of power into use on Indian roads? If you are looking for a sedan in which you want your daily ride and do some occasional track days, this is the one to invest in. The S60 Polestar will give you fun in leaps and bounds, and that CYAN Racing-inspired blue colour is a headturner even if it sits in your garage.

(The writer was in Kari Speedway, Coimbatore, to attend the launch of the car at the invitation of the company. Action photos provided by Volvo)
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