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Polestar Pushes Volvo XC60 to 421 HP With New Performance Pack

Volvo’s compact crossover’s transmission has also been re-tuned for sportier shifts.

byChris Tsui|
Volvo News photo


Good news for Swedish crossover connoisseurs looking for a little flair: The newly-spun-off Volvo tuners at Polestar have announced a performance upgrade pack for the new XC60 compact SUV.

Specifically, the "powertrain optimization" pumps the top-of-the-line hybrid T8 model up from 400 horsepower to a healthy 421, joining the similarly-Polestar-enhanced XC90 T8 as the most powerful Volvos ever built, the company claims. Yes, that makes this compact crossover even more powerful than Paul Newman and David Letterman's famous "400-horsepower" V8-swapped 960—and it comes with with a warranty to boot.

In addition to the power boost, the new Polestar-fettled XC60s will feature more sporty throttle response, off-throttle response, and faster shift times from its eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine has also been tweaked to deliver more of its power and torque in the middle of the rev range, with the transmission's shift points recalibrated accordingly. When high lateral g-forces are detected, a gear hold function kicks in, preventing mid-corner gear changes from messing up the car's balance.

"Our goal is to create usable performance in everyday driving situations for Volvo owners who want an enhanced driving experience," said Polestar R&D VP Henrik Fries in a press release. "The new XC60 has provided us with an excellent base to work on with a dynamic chassis and a state of the art powertrain. With the Polestar optimization, it makes the new Volvo XC60 a true driver's car."

Pricing and availability details for the upgrade packs have yet to be announced.

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