The 3.0-litre Polestar harked back to the fast Volvo glory days; it's seldom looked more appealing
By Matt Bird / Thursday, August 26, 2021 / Loading comments
No brand has changed more in recent times than Polestar. What was once Volvo’s all-conquering touring car team (now Cyan Racing) became known for producing incredible concept cars, then distilled that knowledge into performance upgrades, only to build on those and make actual Polestar-branded models – albeit ones not as mad as the concepts. Now it’s Volvo’s sub-brand for electric cars. Quite some reinvention.
Indeed, even this Polestar V60 changed pretty significantly during its years on sale. What launched as a car with a 3.0-litre, straight-six turbo became, after just a couple of years on sale, a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder V60. With another two gears. They don’t stand still for long at Polestar.
And while the later car was better to drive – with a significantly improved gearbox as well – it didn’t get the cult appeal of the original straight-six. Because no one who loves a six-cylinder has ever gone “you know what, I think it needs less.” Just a few years after launch, it’s surprising the Polestar happened at all: a 350hp, 3.0-litre V60, boasting prohibitively expensive Ohlins dampers, a carbon strut brace, Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres and five-second 0-62mph potential. For just 750 cars, of which 125 came to the UK. Talk about a halo model.
You couldn’t help but like the V60. It was a handsome, sturdy Volvo wagon, powered by a memorable engine and with an appeal discrete from the obvious Germans. It wasn’t hard to hark back to memories of 850s and V70s doing much the same thing. Only the V60 was much better, even if a lardy kerbweight and sluggish auto held it back from true greatness.
The £50k asking price will have proved a stumbling block for some V60 Polestar customers, despite the tiny UK allocation. It’s hardly like those who took the plunge were rewarded with strong initial residuals, either – just three years after launch, there were cars available with more than £20k off. But now look: the speed of depreciation has slowed to the pace of a Scandi noir box set. This one is a 2016 car and has covered 33,000 miles (plus, dare it be said, looks quite good for not having Rebel Blue paint) yet is still commanding £24k. Finally, niche appeal comes to the aid of the V60 Polestar! When it once seemed that the straight-six cars might plummet to little more than Shed money in a matter of years, values have apparently shored up.
And while the same drawbacks apply as they always have – the big Volvo is expensive to run, an equivalent BMW will be better to drive, and an Audi will have a smarter interior – the Polestar becomes an awful lot easier to recommend (and justify) with the depreciation edge taken off. It will inevitably continue to lose money, though surely at a less ferocious rate than it once did. The fact that both Volvo and Polestar won’t make a car like this again should secure the V60 some collectability going forward but, even if it doesn’t, you’re going to be left with a fast estate that will make family life a breeze. Just as a Volvo – if not a Polestar – always has.
SPECIFICATION | VOLVO V60 POLESTAR
Engine: 2,953cc 6-cyl turbo
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): [email protected],250rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],000-4,750rpm
MPG: 27.7 (NEDC combined)
First registered: 2014
Recorded mileage: 33,000
Price new: £49,775 (plus options)
Yours for: £24,360
See the original advert here.
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