The Volvo Drive-E series of engines were introduced as a way for the Chinese-Swedish automaker to meet increasingly emissions requirements without sacraificing too much performance. Yet there are always though seeking even more oohmph from their motors, and Volvo will placate them with a number of optional upgrades from Polestar Performance, the unofficial tuner of all things Volvo.
The upgrades will focus largely on increasing mid-range performance and handling, with over 140 options available for the T6, T5, D5, and D4 engine setups. That means the Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid is left without any performance upgrades for now, but that’s coming soon enough. This list of upgrades is extensive, but focuses on several key areas, including;
- Throttle Response
The throttle response has been optimised for improved feedback and response, for example when overtaking or during active driving on a twisty road. The calibration means that the engine responds faster to the commands of the driver and thereby providing a more precise driving experience.
- Gearshift Speed*
The gearshift speed has been increased for the car to accelerate faster and react more direct to the commands of the driver, for example when shifting down fast ahead of an overtaking manoeuvre. A faster gearbox provides the driver with more direct control of the car.
- Gearshift Precision and Gear Hold*
The gearshifts have been calibrated to provide a more direct and precise driving experience as well as faster acceleration. Gearshift points have been calibrated to efficiently utilise the optimised mid-range performance of the engine. The gear hold function holds the gear during cornering at high lateral g-forces, preventing unwanted gearshifts mid-corner that can unsettle the balance of the car.
- Off-throttle Response*
The gearbox and engine has been calibrated to provide a faster response when the driver quickly lifts off the throttle for a brief moment, for example during a short period of braking ahead of a corner. These functions keep the car in balance during fast cornering and provide the driver with improved predictability and control of the car.
- Engine Performance
All Drive-E optimisations are developed to provide more performance in the mid-range of the engine where the driver uses it the most when driving actively, for example during overtaking or when entering a busy highway. The increased mid-range performance in combination with the supporting changes for the gearbox and throttle response makes the car more dynamic and responsive to drive.
* = Automatic gearbox only.
The first wave of performance upgrades will be available this June, with more to come in the following months. I’m personally more interested to see what kind of performance Polestar can bring to Volvo’s growing range of plug-in hybrids, as they’ve already pledged to tackle the engine-electric motor drivetrain combo.