Volvo Polestar Hybrid Cars Will “Shake Up The Market”

At one time, Polestar was an independent tuning house that did for Volvos what AMG did for Mercedes. AMG got so popular that Mercedes bought it and brought it in-house. Later, Volvo did the same thing with Polestar, which now is the high performance division within the company. Last year, a Volvo XC90 Hybrid that was given the full Polestar treatment became the fastest production Volvo ever.

Volvo Polestar hybrid wagon

Polestar managed to boost horsepower and torque from the stock gasoline/electric Twin Engine powertrain by about 5%. After the tweaks, Volvo’s largest SUV was able to storm to 100 kph in 5.5 seconds. That is on par with Tesla Model X in standard trim. But things won’t stop there. Peter Martens Volvo’s R&D chief has indicated that Polestar powertrains in the future may have as much as 600 horsepower. “Polestar is going to come out with something very exciting and a little bit different,” Volvo UK managing director Jon Wakefield recently told Autocar. “We think it is going to shake up the market.”

The Polestar powertrain upgrades are expected to be available not only in the XC90 but also in Volvo’s top of the line sedans and wagons — the S90 and V90. Both vehicles are sleek, svelte, and thoroughly modern in appearance. Giving them outstanding performance could go a long way to burnishing Volvo’s relatively stodgy image. The latest thinking is that the new models will probably not be available to the public until the 2018 model year.

There are no technical details available yet about how Polestar intends to extract more performance from the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid package. In stock form, it mates a 2.0 liter gasoline engine that is both turbocharged and supercharged to an electric motor. The supercharger provides instant torque to get the car moving from rest while the turbocharger takes over as engine revs rise to keep the good times rolling as road speed increases.

Without knowing the specifics, the easiest way to boost performance would be to equip the cars with more powerful electric motors. Doing so could increase total power without affecting the emissions from the gasoline engine. Taking that route would likely involve fitting the cars with larger batteries, which might extend electric only range beyond that of the standard issue cars — assuming the driver can resist stomping on the go pedal at every opportunity.

A 600 horsepower Volvo V90 wagon could be one of the ultimate sleeper cars ever produced. Bring it on, Polestar!

Source: Left Lane News



Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.