The Volvo V60 Cross Country is a soft-roader that offers light capability when the going gets tough, wrapped in swaths of luxury and style. We take one for a spin on the paved and dirt roads of northern California to see what's what.
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.
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.
The Volvo S60 T5 with all-wheel drive struck us as a whole 'lotta Euro sedan for the money the first time we tried out this new-for-2013 powertrain combination. There are several fans of the offbeat and Swedish on the Autoblog team, me among them, and this $38,170-as-tested (including $895 destination) S60 has a fjord-load of style and comfort that you'll pay a lot more for in some other Euro-brand showroom.
For any self-respecting driver that has a car with a manual transmission, there are two things that cast shame; stalling and grinding. It doesn't matter if you're the only one in the car or if there are no other motorists on the road, the embarrassment associated with these gaffes is omnipresent. To save myself from shame and for fear of wrecking my transmission, I hadn't tried clutchless shifting (also called powershifting) until very recently, after I saw it done on YouTube. I knew this was so