People are often shocked to learn I have a tattoo. On the exterior I’m pretty straight-laced; your typical run-of-the-mill nerd with glasses, unkempt hair and a sad, sad fashion sense. I play it safe. I always look both ways before crossing the street, hate the idea of bungee jumping and hang-gliding, and I’m not one to take up a dare easily.
Likewise, Volvo is a pretty straight-lace company. Safe, with standard design elements and nothing too flashy or exotic, Volvos are what I would consider run-of-the-mill luxury. Sure, they offer a step up from domestic brands, but they don’t do it with any sort of pizzazz -- at least, not that you can see on the surface.
Like a local tattoo shop that somehow enticed Volvo just to sit for a moment and look at the designs (ha), Polestar teamed up with the temporal Swede and managed to coax it onto the table for a full back piece, creating some pretty incredible and non-Volvo-like vehicles in their lineup.
Oh, but that blue dress…
Here’s where Volvo keeps its rebellious nature under wraps; the 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar really doesn’t look that different from a regular S60, save for a more aggressive front lip and grill, side skirts and a decklid spoiler off the rear, as well as 20” Polestar rims which sit atop front Brembo 6-piston brake calipers.
Inside, the Polestar-stitched seats and Polestar branded shifter and steering wheel also give away the Volvo S60’s true nature. And while the S60 Polestar is available in Black Sapphire metallic, if you don’t order it in Polestar’s signature colour, there is something seriously wrong with you.
Because that colour… oh, that colour… Rebel blue and luscious, like a summer dress billowing in the breeze on a balmy afternoon near the ocean. It belies the beast beneath: the full back tattoo.
And the dress is backless.
A Volvo that does 0-100km/hr in just 4.9 seconds. 350 horsepower. Top speed of 250 km/hr. An exhaust note from the 3.5” tail pipes that’ll make you giggle (Every. Single. Time.). That’s the S60 Polestar’s secret. That’s the rebel inside, the ink you never knew it had.
To be more precise, the 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar is outfitted with a twin-scroll turbocharged inline-6 T6 engine which pumps out a fabulous 350 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters controls all that power that is sent to all four wheels for year-round driving enjoyment. And it is a joy.
Although 80% stiffer than the S60 T6 R-Design, the Ohlins shock absorbers manage to make the S60 Polestar’s ride pliable and comfortable, while also keeping it planted when it want it to be the most; in the corners. Body roll is nearly non-existent, and coupled with a steering response that had me impressed even in our snowy, horrendous conditions, the S60 Polestar proves itself a track-ready daily driver.
Shifts are quick enough that I rarely touched the paddle shifters and let the S60 Polestar do the thinking for me. Acceleration comes quickly, almost too quickly to stay off the local constabulary’s radar, and the glorious sounds the T6 engine makes are almost too good to be true in a Volvo.
It’s got a secret the others gladly shout out loud
For me, that’s what makes the S60 Polestar great. If you don’t know cars, don’t know Polestar specifically, don’t recognize the gorgeous Rebel Blue, you’d never really know. Unlike the garish STI with its massive wing and hood scoop, the S60 is subtle in its ruckus intentions.
A Limited Edition model, the 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar is only being sold in a few select countries, Canada being one of them. And how lucky we are to receive such a subtly sly Swede on our streets.
Sedate S60 on the surface
You’d never know I had a tattoo unless you asked me; or you spot a portion of ink. And if you did inquire, I’d tell you I actually have four.
The $64,895 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar is a safe and secure S60 on the surface. Equipped with City Safety, lane departure warning, front collision prevention, back-up camera and all of Volvo’s renowned safety features and body design, the Polestar is as straight-lace as they come.
The S60 is sedate until you ask to see the full piece when you spot a bit of ink poking up from the collar of its blue button-down shirt.