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Car and Driver: Volvo S60, V60 Polestar Ditch Inline-Six for 367-hp Turbo- and Supercharged Four


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2016-Volvo-S60-V60-Polestar-PLACEMENT

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Two of our favorite Volvos, the S60 and V60 Polestar, are getting a heart transplant. Gone is the old turbocharged six-cylinder, replaced by a high-output version of the turbo- and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder from Volvo’s Drive-E family of engines. While we’ll miss the distinctive growl of Volvo’s inline-six, the addition of the new Drive-E four-cylinder looks like good news across the board.

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For starters, it has more power: 367 horsepower compared to the six’s 345. Torque output is down, however, with the four-cylinder making 347 lb-ft versus the six-cylinder’s 369, but Volvo claims that the new Polestars are quicker than their predecessors. (A 2015 S60 Polestar went from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds in our tests.) With fewer cylinders to feed and a new eight-speed automatic transmission replacing the previous six-speed, Volvo also says fuel economy is improved, although we don’t have any EPA numbers.

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2016-Volvo-S60-V60-Polestar-INLINE

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Dropping the newer four-cylinder into the S60 sedan and V60 wagon also reduced weight by 44 pounds overall. The Polestars remain all-wheel drive, but a BorgWarner system steps in for the outgoing models’ Haldex system. Volvo hasn’t yet provided many details about the mechanics of this new system, so stay tuned for more information on how it puts the power down. Other changes include retuned steering, different brake discs, and new 20-inch wheels.

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Polestar models have always been a fairly exclusive proposition, especially in the U.S. Just 120 Polestar cars came to the U.S. initially, while a second production run for 2016 brought 274 additional units for our shores. We might get even more cars now, as Volvo is doubling total global annual production numbers from 750 to 1500. But with Volvo also planning to sell Polestars in 34 additional worldwide markets, we’ll have to wait and see how many of those units make their way to America.

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2016-Volvo-S60-V60-Polestar-REEL

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