As before, the Polestar rides on Öhlins dampers with fancy valving that allows for different high-speed (like a pothole impact) and low-speed (spirited driving) damping. The result is quick cycling over sharp impacts without ruining the ride quality, as well as firm composure in corners. The overall chassis setup is still sporty, although our test car seemed to round off the nastier cracks and potholes as well as any car on 20s we can remember.
The Polestar goes through corners with an overwhelming sense of grip. A snowy skidpad prevented us from recording lateral acceleration, but the 2015 S60 held on for a sports-car-like 0.91 g. Volvo retuned the clutch-pack all-wheel-drive coupler to apportion more torque to the rear axle and to do so sooner. As before, stomping on the gas at midcorner sets all four tires clawing at the pavement, yanking the Polestar through, only now the effect is greater. There isn’t enough rear bias to generate power-on oversteer, and overall, the chassis suffers from a mild case of understeer. Well, as long as you’re on the throttle; otherwise, the Polestar profoundly understeers in tighter bends.
Does the new turbo- and supercharged engine transform the V60 Polestar? Hardly, and we will miss the old inline-six’s BMW-like voice, which has been replaced by an angry vacuum-cleaner sound. Nevertheless, we appreciate the small adjustments Volvo made to the rest of the package, from the quicker-acting all-wheel drive to the steering revisions that send more road feel to the driver’s hands. And as before, the best way to understand the Polestar is to drive the Polestar.
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