By on June 15, 2018

In order to create a bit of added buzz around the debut of the new Volvo S60, scheduled for next week, the automaker teased images of a performance variant wearing the Polestar emblem. The upcoming sports sedan will be the first Volvo manufactured within the United States. It will also be one of the first models touched by the “Polestar Engineered” performance package, along with the XC60 crossover and V60 wagon.

While Polestar remains its own brand, Volvo plans to continue using the name to denote sporting versions that include some form of electrification. On this batch, that means the only engines receiving special treatment are the T8 Twin-Engine Plug-in Hybrids. The treatment includes upgraded brakes, suspension, and powertrain — resulting in a trim positioned above the R-Design in terms of performance, price, and desirability. 

T8s will keep their 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged engines, as well as the battery pack and electric motor mounted at the rear axle. However, Polestar Engineered versions will see their ECUs tweaked slightly, tacking on 15 horsepower and 22 lb-ft of torque.

That translates to 415 horsepower and 494 lb-ft in total. Volvo also said the refinements should improve fuel economy a bit — not something you’d expect to hear about a performance variant.

The vehicles also receive Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers and new pads with increased heat tolerance. These systems will also be the telltale sign that a Volvo owner splurged, as the calipers come painted in a difficult-to-ignore gold. It looks great, especially against black bodywork, but we kind of miss the iconic Polestar blue of yesterday.

Specially calibrated multilink front and rear suspensions adopt adjustable Öhlins shock absorbers. Stiffer springs and firmer dampers are said to improve dynamics, but we doubt Volvo will sacrifice too much in the way of comfort. The polestar pack also adopts the strut bar from the Polestar 1.

Visually, the cars are not wildly different from the rest of the T8 models. The biggest giveaways are the gold-painted brake calipers and matching seat belts. Still, Polestar Engineered cars do get some unique emblems (all very subtle), black chrome exhaust finishers, and their own set of lightweight wheels. For the most part, it’s a rather tasteful affair.

Pricing hasn’t been announced, but it’s safe to assume they’ll all be the most expensive version of the S60, XC60, and V60 available. Since this is all technically an extended teaser, more details should emerge soon. The S60’s official unveiling comes June 20th, with production starting at Volvo’s new South Carolina factory later this year.

[Images: Volvo Cars]

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