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Volvo Pondering Polestar-Tuned XC90 Variant

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On: Tue, Nov 3, 2015 at 12:18PM | By: Carl Malek

Volvo Pondering Polestar-Tuned XC90 Variant

With the recent launch of the updated Volvo XC90, Volvo has revealed that it is strongly considering a Polestar-tuned version to compete against rivals from BMW and Audi, while also allowing the XC90 to fully embrace its fun-loving side in what would be the Swedish firm's first formal entry into the growing performance SUV segment.

Polestar CEO Niels Moller added fuel to this intriguing idea in recent remarks he made: "SUVs are hip. People really like them as urban cruisers. So why not have an XC car that can go on the track as well." If the Polestar version is indeed launched, it would be the first track-oriented XC90 ever produced, and it would be powered by a 2.0-liter four cylinder that would feature both a supercharger and a turbocharger (commonly known as twincharging). Rumored to produce at least 350 horsepower, the tweaked four cylinder will gradually replace the turbocharged six cylinder that currently sees duty in the Polestar equipped S60 and V60 models. It would also be a major improvement over the current R-Line model which is more of a styling package than an outright performance trim.

The XC90 Polestar would come equipped with an tweaked 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive as standard equipment, and while the project is still too early in the development stages to speculate on formal performance hardware, look for upgraded brakes, as well as a stiffer suspension to be part of the overall package, not only for the sake of performance but also to make sure that the XC90 Polestar will not be misconstrued as a vehicle that is all show but no go.

If given the go-ahead for production by Volvo management, look for the SUV to go head-to-head with offerings from Mercedes-AMG as well as BMW's M-Division while also allowing Polestar to increase its sales target to 1,500 cars a year. This is particularly important since Polestar was purchased by Volvo last summer as part of a broader performance strategy—to give the safety-conscious brand a tuning house of its own, one that could go up against AMG and M while allowing customers to add a little extra sizzle to their Volvo purchase.

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