Once we ran a Volvo V60 in fundamental D3 Momentum flavour on our long- time period fleet final 12 months it was a direct hit with all who used it. Consensus throughout the AE workplace was shortly established: Volvo has smashed it out of the park with the V60, and even the fundamental D3 Momentum flavour we ran for six months was an opulent package deal.
The V60 vary is fairly expansive when you dip into the worth listing, although, and proper on the high finish sits this: the V60 T8 Twin Engine Polestar Engineered. It’s the quickest and most costly model of this technology V60 up to now, but it surely doesn’t form up as a very easy rival for the likes of the Mercedes-AMG C 43 Property, Audi S4 Avant or the brand new BMW M340i Touring.
That’s as a result of this £57,000 V60 makes use of a plug-in hybrid powertrain to develop its 399bhp most energy determine. It’s a 2.Zero-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine mated to an electrical motor. On paper, the efficiency is correct up there alongside different quick property vehicles accessible for this kind of cash, however the Volvo claims these figures alongside 104.5mpg and simply 48g/km CO2 emissions, and says the automotive is able to 27 miles on electrical energy solely.
So when you’re a enterprise purchaser wanting a little bit of energy with out your tax invoice going sky-high, the V60 T8 Polestar Engineered might be attractive; Profit in Type stands at simply 16 per cent. Nonetheless, get behind the wheel and it’s not as completely convincing because the sporty bodykit, Polestar badging, 20-inch alloy wheels and vivid yellow seatbelts recommend.
This can be a curious automotive, and within the face of well-established, thrilling, lighter, soley combustion engine-powered competitors, it’s tough to just accept what the Volvo affords with out completely skewing your notion of what a efficiency automotive must be.
For starters, the Volvo has loads of tempo. The torque fill of the electrical motor implies that off the road it’s an immense factor, and the agency’s four.6-second Zero-62mph declare feels proper. Nonetheless, the two.Zero-litre engine and electrical combo does little to carry the senses. It’s a languid powertrain, the noise doesn’t excite, and within the very conventional sense of driving thrills, it lacks the mandatory character to make you wish to push the engine.
Accomplish that anyway, and the principle purpose why many would contemplate the Volvo disappears too. The claimed gas economic system of this powertrain sags and saps away, and also you may as nicely have invested in a six-cylinder rival within the first place; you’ll most likely get comparable MPG returns.
The common V60’s steering is way from probably the most spectacular within the class, and whereas the Polestar’s set-up feels somewhat tighter and extra direct on the high of the wheel, because of some chassis upgrades (there’s now an enormous strut underneath the bonnet to stiffen the nostril), the burden imbued by the hybrid drivetrain imply that it’s not significantly mild on its ft.
Fortunately, beefed-up brakes from Brembo are discovered on every nook, and as with the steering, there’s an enchancment marginal sufficient to maintain the burden in examine and convey issues to a halt shortly and managed. Brake really feel is significantly better than within the common automotive.
The brakes aren’t the one additional lifted from a 3rd celebration. Manually adjustable dampers from Ohlins are normal package too, representing a big a part of the Polestar recipe. The entrance dampers might be simply adjusted by lifting the bonnet, however the rears require jacking the automotive up.
Maybe as a result of Volvo can’t do a lot with the hybrid powertrain to show the V60 into a correct efficiency mannequin, chassis tweaks bordering on overkill like this are what flip this automotive right into a “Polestar.” However for the common purchaser, having dampers just like the Ohlins discovered right here is completely pointless.
With the baseline damper settings the automotive is delivered with, you’ll discover that physique management is admirably robust, however the experience is flawed for a automotive that in additional sane trims majors on consolation. After all, you may delve into the adjustable nature of the dampers and twist away to slacken again and make it a extra snug automotive (we advise you do), however there’s a vagueness to the tuning that requires consideration or referencing the rules discovered on the sharp nine-inch infotainment display screen. They only really feel so misplaced in what must be an accessible efficiency property, and we’d wager that almost all patrons will discover the extra humble, much less tricked, R-Design automotive the higher model of the Volvo hybrid.
The remainder of the package deal stays spectacular, although. The unimaginable high quality of the V60’s inside stays in tact and the Polestar Engineered model will get vivid yellow seat belts, alongside the common automotive’s very robust gear ranges.