For its enhancements to Volvo's Drive-E models, Polestar took a comprehensive, holistic approach. The upgrades include improved throttle response, optimized gear-shifting speeds and precision, the ability to hold a gear through a corner, better off-throttle response, and enhanced engine performance – particularly in the mid-range where drivers need it most.
The upgrades are being offered on a range of Volvo models, including those with T5, T6, D4 and D5 engines. Buyers will be able to choose from over 140 different levels of optimization, all without hindering emissions, fuel consumption, service intervals or warranty coverage. Volvo's rolling out the first of these enhancements globally in June, and we're looking into when we can expect them to arrive at US dealerships.
The new generation Polestar Performance Optimisation for Volvo models with Drive-E engines is here, introducing a new concept where the drivetrain is optimised together with the engine.
"The new generation marks a big step forward. By expanding our optimisations to the drivetrain, we are able to offer a new dimension in enhanced driving experience for performance oriented Volvo customers," said Christian Dahl, CEO of Polestar.
The new generation, available for the majority of Volvo models with Drive-E engines, includes optimised engine performance, throttle response, gearshift speed, gearshift precision and off-throttle response. All changes are made with certified emissions, fuel consumption, service intervals and Volvo warranty unchanged.
"We have opened up a vast area of improvements in terms of driving experience when working with the drivetrain combined with the cutting edge technology of the new Drive-E engines. We are able to offer Volvo drivers our 20-year motorsport experience in an exciting product without any drawbacks in terms of reliability, safety or environmental impact," said Henrik Fries, Product Development Director of Polestar Performance.
The expansion to optimising the drivetrain is a result of the intense co-operation with Volvo Research & Development and Aisin Warner for the Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar. A number of improvements were found during that development period which are utilised in the new generation Polestar Performance Optimisations.
The optimisations have been focused on mid-range performance, improving the driving experience and drivability in a broad range of situations, fully utilising the expertise of the Polestar and Volvo engineers and test drivers.
"We use the same philosophy when developing the optimisations as for our race cars. Drivability is everything in racing; it is about having power available when you need it and to be in control. It is exactly the same thing when driving a road car. The more exact response to driver input and predictability from the powertrain, the higher level of control for the driver. This is something we have achieved with the new generation where we have focused on mid-range drivability for the engines and combined that with a further developed gearbox and throttle package. This is the next level of driving experience for Volvo cars," said Thed Björk, test driver and reigning STCC champion for Polestar.
The first optimisations will be released in the last week of June 2015, starting with the T6, T5, D5 and D4 engines. Over 140 different variations of optimisations will continue to be released over the coming months, sign up to our newsletter on www.polestar.com to receive information about your model.
The throttle response has been optimised for improved feedback and response, for example when overtaking or during active driving on a twisty road. The calibration means that the engine responds faster to the commands of the driver and thereby providing a more precise driving experience.
The gearshift speed has been increased for the car to accelerate faster and react more direct to the commands of the driver, for example when shifting down fast ahead of an overtaking manoeuvre. A faster gearbox provides the driver with more direct control of the car.
Gearshift Precision and Gear Hold*
The gearshifts have been calibrated to provide a more direct and precise driving experience as well as faster acceleration. Gearshift points have been calibrated to efficiently utilise the optimised mid-range performance of the engine. The gear hold function holds the gear during cornering at high lateral g-forces, preventing unwanted gearshifts mid-corner that can unsettle the balance of the car.
The gearbox and engine has been calibrated to provide a faster response when the driver quickly lifts off the throttle for a brief moment, for example during a short period of braking ahead of a corner. These functions keep the car in balance during fast cornering and provide the driver with improved predictability and control of the car.
All Drive-E optimisations are developed to provide more performance in the mid-range of the engine where the driver uses it the most when driving actively, for example during overtaking or when entering a busy highway. The increased mid-range performance in combination with the supporting changes for the gearbox and throttle response makes the car more dynamic and responsive to drive.
* = Automatic gearbox only