Volvo introduces Polestar performance S60 and V60 to recharge brand

Things are a bit dry at the Volvo well at the moment. The automaker, which was bought by Chinese brand Geely in 2010, won’t have a completely new product until 2015. That’s when the next-generation XC90 SUV is due, which will finally replace the long-in-the-tooth model that’s been around since 2003.

This dearth of new sheet metal has hurt Volvo’s sales in the U.S. Through October, annual sales are down nearly 7% compared to the first 10 months of 2012. Despite this decline, 2013 sales are about the same as Jaguar’s.

While Volvo waits for new products to come down the pipeline, it’s been tweaking the ones it already has. This week, the automaker announced it’s teaming up with its Polestar racing division to build the S60 and V60 Polestar editions.

PHOTOS: Volvo's S60 and V60 Polestar

These new versions of Volvo’s midsize sedan will give buyers "a car developed for those who share our passion at Polestar: That driving really matters and that a true driver’s car should enable you to enjoy driving all year, on all roads and in all weather conditions," Christian Dahl, Polestar’s CEO, said in a statement. "This is a driver’s car for real life."

The Polestar editions will be sold in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the Netherlands. They start life as the S60 sedan that’s already on sale here and the V60 wagon headed our way in small numbers in January 2014.

Horsepower from the turbocharged 3-liter, six-cylinder engine jumps from to 350, up from 325 in the S60 R-Design. Torque comes in at 369 pound-feet. With all-wheel-drive standard, the six-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters) moves the car from zero-62 mph in 4.9 seconds.

Other performance upgrades include stiffer springs and shocks, 20-inch wheels, ventilated front disc brakes with Brembo calipers, stainless steel exhaust, a recalibrated traction control system, and aerodynamic changes to the exterior like a new front splitter and rear spoiler.

Pricing and production numbers haven’t been announced, but expect to pay a premium over the $43,615 base price of the T6 R-Design model already on sale. The Polestar S60 and V60 will scoot into dealerships in June.


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