The Volvo V60 T8 Twin Engine AWD Polestar Engineered offers the benefits and practicality of the standard V60 T8 Twin Engine, with a more performance-focused driving experience, but you still retain electric-only driving capability.
We’ve reviewed the standard Volvo V60 T8 Twin Engine and we thought it was an excellent car. So we were intrigued to find out what the Polestar Engineered version added – and whether it was worth the extra £6,300 price premium.
The Volvo V60 T8 Twin Engine AWD Polestar Engineered has a 4-cylinder, 2-litre petrol engine with 318hp and 430Nm. This compares to the 303hp and 400Nm of the standard V60 T8, meaning that the Polestar Engineered V60 has a 15hp and 30Nm advantage. It’s the same 87hp electric motor in both cars – along with the 8-speed automatic transmission. There’s all-wheel drive: the petrol engine drives the front wheels and the 87hp electric motor powers the rears.
Polestar Engineered models also feature Öhlins shock absorbers all round, and visually you’ll notice lightweight forged alloy wheels and gold brake callipers on the outside, and gold seat belts on the inside. Other than that, this model shares the same practical body shape as any other V60 – but of course the T8 models have a large hump under the legs of rear middle seat passengers – it’s not a transmission tunnel, but the battery.
The dashboard is very similar to all new Volvo models, which means it’s modern, stylish and functional.
The V60 T8 Twin Engine AWD Polestar Engineered has good seat and steering wheel adjustability, meaning that you can get a decent driving position. The car feels low, and when you hit the accelerator, the rear end sits down and, with the 318hp engine and 87hp electric motor combination, the V60 takes off – like other well-sorted performance cars.
There are a range of drive modes, with the drive mode controller shared with other latest generation Volvos. It looks very stylish, but you have to push it down to bring up the drive modes on the screen, you then have to rotate the cylinder to select the drive mode you want, and then push it down again to select the chosen option. So although the drive mode switch looks good, it’s hardly a ‘one-touch’ operation.
If you’re in ‘Pure’, ie. all-electric mode, then the car will be very refined and responsive, as well as having zero tailpipe emissions, but with enthusiastic acceleration it’s likely to switch from electric to petrol mode.
If you select ‘Constant AWD’ then you’ll enjoy excellent level of traction – but you’ll be using the petrol engine. In place of the ‘Power’ mode on the standard V60 T8, there’s a ‘Polestar Engineered’ mode. This effectively does the same job as ‘Power’ mode, and selecting this will also give you all-wheel drive traction for progressive driving.
There’s also a Hybrid mode, meaning the car will switch between petrol and electric as it sees fit, and there’s an ‘Individual’ setting.
The V60 feels like it has an agile chassis, and the suspension has evidently been successfully honed, so if you’re on a smooth, twisty road, this is a rewarding driver’s car. However it features large (20-inch) alloys and 245/35 low profile tyres, and this means that despite the skills of the suspension engineers, the ride quality on the UK’s potholed urban roads is very firm.
If you’re driving on (smooth) motorways then the V60 is a very quiet and refined place to be. But if you want any electric capability left at the end of the motorway then you’ll need to have discovered how to select to drive on the petrol engine and hold the battery charge. You might think that this is a function that you can select via the drive mode switch, but no. Instead you have to swipe the touchscreen to the right, then swipe it down, and at the very bottom of this screen is a button to enable you to hold the battery charge. There’s also another button to charge the battery from the petrol engine. In our opinion, these buttons are far too hidden away; to help ensure people don’t use up all their battery charge on motorways before entering a city centre, for example, these controls should be somewhere much more obvious on the dashboard.
There are steering wheel-mounted paddles to change the 8-speed automatic transmission manually, but doing this only keeps the car in the selected gear for a few seconds, so you can’t really drive the car fully manually. There’s also a B-setting on the transmission to provide more brake regen.
The official WLTP combined fuel economy for the Volvo V60 T8 Twin Engine is 104.5mpg – compared to 113.0 – 166.1mpg for the standard V60 T8, with CO2 emissions of 48g/km, compared to 39 g/km for the T8.
The official electric driving range is the same for both cars: 31.1 – 36.7 miles; the Polestar Engineered model was consistently delivering 25-28 miles on a full charge during our week with the car (and a 360 mile petrol range).
Our key measure with all plug-in hybrids is what fuel economy they deliver in the real-world at 70mph on the motorway: in the case of the Polestar Engineered V60 T8 this was 38mpg.
After a week with the car the real-life economy was 50.4mpg; this will rise with more electric driving and it will drop with more driving on the petrol engine.
The Volvo V60 T8 Twin Engine AWD Polestar Engineered is available from £57,205. The standard V60 T8 Twin Engine costs £50,905. So there’s a £6,300 premium for the Polestar Engineered model. And our test car also had the options of Xenium pack (£1,800), Intellisafe Surround (£625), 20-inch Alloy Wheels (£850), 4.5m Type 2 / Mode 3 Charge Cable (£50) and Premium Metallic Paint (£975) taking the price of the car to £61,505.
The V60 range is available from £34,315 for the D3 Momentum Plus; there are petrol and diesel engines, and trim levels are Momentum Plus, R-Design Plus, Polestar Engineered, Inscription Plus and Cross Country Plus.
The standard Volvo V60 T8 Twin Engine AWD is an excellent car. The V60 T8 Twin Engine AWD Polestar Engineered may be slightly more performance-focused, but there’s a £6,300 premium, and the ride quality is worse than the standard car, so if you live in the UK, with our terrible road surfaces, we’d have to recommend sticking with the standard V60 T8 Twin Engine. However the Polestar Engineered V60 is still a very good all-round car, offering performance as well as the ability to drive up to around 30 miles on zero emission electric power, it’s also practical in Estate form, and has all-wheel drive traction, and so, like the V60 T8 Twin Engine, the Polestar Engineered V60 T8 gains a Green Car Guide rating of 9 out of 10.