Performance offshoot to return to the Volvo brand as ‘Polestar Engineered’ – will debut on S60 T8

Volvo’s performance offshoot, Polestar, has announced a series of upgrades it will be offering on top-spec T8 versions of its upcoming S60 sedan. Under the tag of ‘Polestar Engineered’, Volvo will roll out the upgrades alongside its all-new S60 saloon next week, with the same elements appearing on the V60 and XC60 T8 models later in the year.

Building on the standard T8’s 293kW combined power figure, Polestar’s very contemporary way of increasing power via upgraded software brings power up to an even more impressive total of 304kW. The eight-speed automatic transmission has also been recalibrated to speed up changes and sharpen response.

> Click here for more on the new Polestar 1

These lessons have been derived from the development work that the Swedish brand has done in preparation of the upcoming Polestar 1 super-GT. Like that car, these high-spec ‘60 series’ models will incorporate Polestar’s new aesthetic trademarks, such as gold-painted brake calipers, Brembo monoblock units in this case. Also featured are adjustable Öhlins shock absorbers, paired with a new front strut brace, both shared with the Polestar 1.

Styling changes will be limited to a new set of lightweight alloy wheels and dark chrome details like rear exhaust outlets and trim around the grille. It is unclear whether these upgrades will filter to the extremities of Volvo’s range, but thanks to the shared modular nature of the 60 and 90 models, it’s reasonable to expect the same to be applied to the larger three models.

These upgrades will be shown in full when the production S60 sedan is revealed in the US next week. Volvo’s huge investment in research and development over the last few years has yielded some impressive products, but the effect has yet to really reach the sorts of performance variants we’re interested in most. But these new Polestar Engineered models are just the first step in Volvo one day finally rivalling brands such as BMW M and AMG, as full-fat Polestar models will likely hit even harder on the electrified sports car drum.