The Volvo V60 T8 Polestar Engineered has a lot going for it right out of the gate. First, Volvo styling is hard not to like, and its wagons are quite possibly the best examples of the automaker’s current exterior design. Second, this is the T8, the plug-in hybrid, which adds electric range and power to the mix. Third, this is the Polestar Engineered model, which means this is the performance version that very few customers will get their hands on. Hard to argue with a sexy, plug-in, hot wagon with 415 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque, at least on paper. The one possible downside is the $68,295 entry fee. We were able to get one at the Autoblog office for a week to see if it all comes together as hoped, and if it lives up to the price tag. The styling is already familiar, but I sure love the way it looks in my driveway. I found myself cracking open the front door to gaze at that long roof and sculpted front fascia. The little touches like the flat, square Polestar badge on the grille and the gold brake calipers peeking out from behind the wheel spokes helped to draw my eyes a bit longer. Inside the car, it’s a similar story. I’ve spent some hours inside V60s, and while this one’s gold seatbelts are the only real novelty (and a Polestar-specific flourish), I still find the tidy interior design refreshing and thoughtful. We’ve talked a lot about Volvo’s infotainment system here in the Autoblog offices – and the same praise and complaints remain here – but for the first time that I can remember, I actually plugged my phone in and recalled how good the Apple CarPlay interface is in this system. The screen’s size and vertical orientation help, too. With CarPlay on, the Apple interface uses the bottom half of the screen, while the top half features a miniaturized version of the Sensus main menu. You don't have to back out of CarPlay to play with any vehicle functions. Despite the seeming complexity of its electric all-wheel-drive system (with the gasoline engine motivating the front wheels and the e-motor powering the rear, and not always at the same time), in practice, the T8’s various drive modes are simple to use. "Hybrid" is the default drive mode, maximizing efficiency when possible, and providing extra power from the gas motor up front when necessary. "Constant AWD" mode is what it sounds like, keeping the car in all-wheel drive, with the only drawback being that this requires constant operation from the gas engine. "Polestar Engineered" is the performance mode, and it’s a riot. As you’d expect, it uses the gas and electric motors for maximum power, efficiency be damned. Acceleration is brisk, and there’s no hesitation as the electric torque and supercharger provide power down low, with the turbocharger keeping the power coming higher in the rev range. The one thing lacking is a pleasant engine note as the …
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|MPG||23 City / 34 Hwy|
|Transmission||Geartronic 8-spd w/OD|
|Power||250 @ 5500 rpm|
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