Polestar Adds Punch
Behind the wheel
There is no doubt that the Polestar effect is significant. I was actually more impressed with its smooth, linear progression of power than expected. The C30 T5 is a highly refined vehicle to begin with, and the presence of additional horsepower and torque didn’t diminish the car’s exceptional operational smoothness.
The abundance of torque après 3,000 rpm encouraged plenty of rowing through the gears. My tester was equipped with the 6-speed manual gearbox, and it was a true delight. Clutch actuation was light yet smooth and progressive, while the short-throw stick clicked from gear to gear with precision that was second nature.
From a performance perspective, the Polestar retuning definitely alters the character of the C30 T5 in a good way. Acceleration is significantly boosted, and while I was worried that doing so would overwhelm the front wheels of my tester, such wasn’t the case.
Yes, opting for all-wheel drive when selecting Polestar would have been ideal, but from my experience with my tester, it’s not necessary. Torque steer remained a non-issue throughout my test phase; it should however be noted that my driving – aggressive as it may have been – was limited to dry, smooth paved surfaces.
While Polestar provides pulse-quickening acceleration, the R-Design package notably elevates the handling capabilities of the C30 T5, making this svelte 2-door agile, responsive and competent in the most challenging of corners.
The combination of R-Design and Polestar make the C30 T5 quite irresistible. It’s a dynamic pairing that infuses the car with exhilarating performance thresholds that feel decidedly more representative of premium marques of Germanic heritage, and who could fault that?
The final word on Polestar
Polestar performance tuning is an accessory purchased through Volvo dealerships. This technology does not alter the vehicle’s fuel consumption, exhaust emissions or warranty coverage. It can be added to any T5-equipped C30, C70 and S40 from model year 2008 and up. There is also a similar Polestar application for Volvo’s T6 engine, adding 25 hp and 30 lb-ft of torque; for $1,495, it can be fitted to any 2011 and 2012, T6-equipped XC60, S60 and XC70.