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Polestar has built a 421bhp Volvo XC60

Volvo’s safe, dependable family SUV gets even more power. Still safe, dependable. Now fast

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This is a hybrid SUV that offers up pure electric drive, safety, dependability… and 421bhp. Welcome, Internet, to Polestar’s take on the Volvo XC60.

Yup, the hot version of Volvo’s Audi SQ5 and Merc-AMG GLC 43 rival just a little bit hotter. Polestar is to Volvo what AMG and S are to both Mercedes and Audi, and gave the XC60 twin-engined T8 hybrid a boost.

“The new XC60 has provided us with an excellent base to work on with a dynamic chassis and a start of the art powertrain,” explains Volvo’s Henrik Fries (he’s the VP of R&D). “With the Polestar optimisation, it makes the new Volvo XC60 a true drivers’ car.”

Fighting talk. Polestar has reworked the engine to provide more power and torque in the mid-range – the bit you use most in everyday driving – along with tweaking the throttle response and off-throttle response.

There are also tweaks to the gearbox: it’s been recalibrated to accompany the additional mid-range uplift, and there’s a new gear-hold function that, well, holds the gear you’re in “when cornering with high lateral g-force”. HIGH LATERAL G-FORCE FOLKS. In a Volvo XC60. We like.

With that headline power output then, the Polestar XC60 T8 joins the Polestar XC90 T8 as the two most powerful Volvos ever built. No word on acceleration, but the ‘regular’ XC60 T8 with 407bhp will sprint to 62mph in 5.3s. Expect more fastness from this.

And here’s a little nugget for Polestar performance down the road: in the future, it’ll will become a separately-branded, ‘electrified’ high-performance car company. Its cars will no longer feature Volvo badges, and – as per Volvo’s mainstream line-up – will offer electrification across the board.

“These synergies [with Volvo Cars] will allow it to design, develop and build world-beating electrified high performance cars,” Polestar said.

You ready for this electric performance car future?

Read Top Gear’s review of the Volvo XC60 here

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