Product Plan Includes Cross Country Models, But No Coupes
Things have been slow in Gothenburg the past few years, but they're picking up speed. The only new model Volvo has released in the past four years since it was taken over by Geely – that being the V40 introduced in 2012 – started its development when the company was still under Ford's umbrella. But now the Swedish automaker is preparing to launch a volley of new models, and the new XC90 is only the starting point.
You saw their US reveal at this year's Chicago Auto Show and read our driving impressions from Sweden. Now, if you act fast, you can actually own one of the very limited 2015.5 Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar models coming to the United States. The order page for these slick Swedes is now online, but the slots are filling up about as quickly as these cars accelerate.
Just because the penetration of the American automotive market by Chinese brands hasn't quite happened yet doesn't mean that Chinese-built cars are far off. According to a new report, we could very soon see long-wheelbase Volvo S60s that were assembled in the People's Republic arriving on US shores.
Hyper-Rare Swedes Get It Just Right By Being Just Enough
Polestar Performance has been around since 1996, but until recently, it only did two things: manage Volvo motorsports operations and run a specialist consumer-facing side that built concept cars and boosted Volvo's turbocharged production cars by 15 to 60 horsepower. Five years ago, it fulfilled its long-held desire to engineer an actual production car, first creating the C30 Polestar Performance Concept, a showcar that led to the C30 Polestar Limited Edition.
New Engine Makes S60 Quietly Competitive With German Rivals
For those not paying attention, Volvo has updated its S60 sedan range for 2015 with a new range of engines under the Drive-E label. Wearing the same T5 and T6 badges to note the relative levels of power under the hood, both engines are 2.0-liter four-cylinders, with the lesser being turbocharged and the greater being both supercharged and turbocharged.
At next week's Beijing Motor Show, Volvo is set to introduce a new member of its plug-in hybrid family. The company has had success with the world's first diesel PHEV, the V60 plug-in hybrid, but the new S60L is dubbed a PPHEV. The extra P stands for petrol.
The Volvo S60 Polestar may not seem like a natural fit for the V8 Supercars series that runs throughout Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania. After all, the all-wheel-drive production-spec car isn't even available with a V8. But the rear-wheel-drive racing version has acquitted itself well in the early races of the season, even scoring an overall win at a race in Melbourne. Currently at seventh place in the championship, the S60 the most successful car that isn't a Holden or Ford.
After decades of cat-and-mouse battle waged between Holden and Ford, Australia's V8 Supercars series has expanded considerably. Mercedes and Nissan both joined the grid last season, and Volvo has followed suit this year. So when 2014 championship kicked off earlier this month in Adelaide, everyone was watching to see who would come out on top.
Australian auto news has been dire for the last several months with all three automakers that build there announcing they would stop production within the next three years. But Volvo is providing a shot of excitement with the unveiling of its new S60 racecar for the upcoming season of the Australian V8 Supercar series.
We showed you the hot, new Volvo V60 Polestar a few months back and raved about the fact that this long-roofed family car can hit 60 miles per hour in just 4.9 seconds. Now, we're seeing it and its four-doored brother, the S60 Polestar sedan, in person for the first time.
After a little more than three years since Volvo was acquired by China's Geely, it was only a matter of time before products from this marriage started to show up in the US. Although nothing seems to be written in stone, Automotive News is reporting that the US could be getting Chinese-made Volvos sooner rather than later.
When Volvo announced US pricing for its updated 2014 model line, it left one vital model out of the equation: that would be the V60, the long-roofed version of the S60 sedan and the long-awaited replacement for the V70 wagon that left our shores nearly four years ago. But if you look at the V60's product page now, you'll see a starting MSRP listed at $35,300. That represents a $2,900 premium over the S60 and an $800 premium over the larger (but older) XC70 softroader.
The relationship between Volvo and Polestar was forged – and forges deeper still – on the racetrack, where the latter fields the former's tin-top entries in the STCC, WTCC and V8 Supercars. And based on their success together in touring-car racing, Volvo has had Polestar amp up a number of its production road cars. What we have here is the latest.
Autonomous vehicles are increasingly being tested on public roads around the globe, including Nissan in Japan and Google here in the US, and now Volvo is preparing to test its own self-driving cars on the streets of Sweden. In conjunction with the state government, Volvo's Drive Me project kicks off next year, starting with the development of customer research and infrastructure technology before setting 100 self-driving cars loose on the streets of Gothenburg in 2017.
Earlier this year, Polestar jumped from the racetrack to the showroom with its own take on the Volvo S60 sedan. And given the similarity and the proud history of hot Volvo wagons, not to mention the spy shots and teasers, we knew it would only be a matter of time before Volvo's racing partner would return with a similar take on the V60. And that's just what it's done.
Send us photos of a new wagon out testing, and you've got our attention. Send us photos of a fast wagon lapping the Nürburgring and, well, we're just as giddy as can be. Our spy shooters just blessed our inbox with some fresh shots of Volvo's new V60 wagon out testing in Polestar guise, sporting the same Rebel Blue paint job as the thunder-from-Down-Under limited-edition S60 Polestar, as well as an aggressive front fascia, huge wheels, Brembo brakes, a rear diffuser panel and a roof spoiler
Volvo has made quite a few changes to its US lineup for the 2014 model year. The C30 hatchback and C70 convertible are gone; the S60, S80, XC60 and XC70 have all been reschnozzed; and in a few months, Volvo will bring its V60 wagon across the pond for Stateside consumption. Only the range-topping XC90 carries on unchanged, though a brand new version is expected to launch sometime next year.
We've already told you about the slightly more awesome version of the Volvo S60 that our friends Down Under can now get their hands on. And according to Aussie site Drive.com.au, Volvo may look to the land of Oz for future testing of new, Polestar-tuned, high-performance models.
It was just a rumor, but now it's official, mates: Volvo will be joining the V8 Supercars series in Australia with an official team for 2014. Volvo is partnering with Garry Rogers Motorsport and its own Polestar tuning firm to create Volvo Polestar Racing.