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Eric's Autos: 2018 Volvo V60 Polestar

Eric Peters on

And the source of its power is unusual, too.

It has 367 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 347 foot-pounds of torque at 5,100 rpm. That's a 122 horsepower upgrade from the standard V60s's version of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder and comparable to the power of V-8s twice its size.

The Polestar four-cylinder's spectacular power is made by a double dose of force-feeding: The incoming air is compressed by both a supercharger and a turbocharger -- a one-two punch no other car offers, wagon or not.

Also unique is the Polestar's "active" exhaust that, under full throttle, becomes an open exhaust. An actuator opens a flap that bypasses sound-quieting restrictions in the muffler, allowing the engine to exhale freely through the twin 3.5-inch tips.

When you back off the accelerator, the sound backs down, too. Not that you'll want to do that often.

Gas mileage -- if you're interested -- is 20 mpg city and 27 highway.

 

On the Road

The wagon lunges forward like an angry rottweiler, the supercharger delivering immediate boost without the usual slight lag you get with turbocharged-only performance cars. Once rolling, the turbo continues building boost, so the engine feels immensely powerful all the time.

It's hard to believe Volvo got almost 400 horsepower out of just 2 liters, but it did. And few people will ever believe a wagon can be this quick -- until they watch you disappearing into the distance.

The ride is a little stiff, but that goes with the car, and the excellent seats serve as effective countermeasures. They manage to be supportive without being stiff. Usually, you get one or the other. Almost never will you get both.

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Copyright 2018 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
 

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