If you wanted a car capable of achieving bullet speeds in the compact executive segment, you used to have a very limited choice. That hasn’t actually changed.
Most people in the market for a fast executive car would probably think they have a choice of three: a C63 AMG, M3 or RS4. There are, however, two other alternatives: from the US of A there is the Cadillac CTS-V (although you may segment that as an E-Class AMG, M5 and RS6 contender as well) and the Japanese offer the Lexus IS-F. Much praise as these have been getting in European automotive press, though, they don’t seem to be able to punch a dent in a pack of butter here. Too much plastics and/or not enough ‘name’, that’s what I say.
Volvo doesn’t suffer from either of those issues, but it does have an image of being safe, civil and a bit for fans of the caravan, at least in the Netherlands. The brand has been working hard to rid itself of that reputation though, the C30, S60 and upcoming V40 are the proof of that. All three are stylish, slick and sexy. Not much left of the ‘brick’ feel of a decade and longer ago, but despite the well-performing T6 engine it never got really sporty, in any of the brand’s models.
That hasn’t actually changed.
Or has it?! Snippets and bits of news in the past weeks already heralded its coming and now it’s finally officially revealed: the S60 Polestar. Volvo house-tuner Polestar and Volvo Cars Official Motorsports have built the car as a one-off concept for a special customer, but if sufficient demand turns out to exist, a small number of the model will be built in series. The figures tell us the established German order shouldn’t be happy with that. Everybody else will be.
The S60 Polestar makes use of the standard T6 engine (normally doing 304 bhp) on which they’ve slapped a bigger turbo and which they tweaked a bit here and there. The result is a solid 508 horses and 575 Nm (424 lbf) worth of torque, with which the ‘boring’ Volvo shatters the competition. For comparison, the M3 has ‘only’ 420 horses, the C63 AMG 480 and the last RS4 420 as well. Schoolboys!
Wolves dressed up as sheep and the safe choice these Germans may be, I would pick the Volvo any time, provided the company actually goes ahead with a production in series. Not because it will outperform the rest, but because it will actually be something special. Something exotic. Something only a few people will choose to own.
And also because it’s a Volvo and nobody actually expects you to go like stink. Imagine the fun at traffic lights!