Volvo is renowned for its sensible, practical and very safe cars. It’s not something that the adrenaline-infused petrolhead would normally buy. But the geniuses at Volvo Car Group’s Polestar electric performance brand has had enough of their parent company’s mom-mobiles. And they’ve got just the thing to make the sedate Swedes, er, less sedate.
“Optimization software” is what Polestar boffins officially call the upgrade. They claim that this upgrade increases rear-wheel torque, improves cornering agility and enhances corner exit acceleration. Henrik Green, Volvo’s senior vice president for research and development, says that the automaker is “always fine-tuning the driving experience of [its] cars, and this upgrade makes the all-wheel drive both smoother and more dynamic.” Translated into layman’s terms, these guys just want to see their cars sliding around the track.
Flip the drive mode selector to Dynamic or switch off stability control and the software upgrade goes to work. Throttle response becomes more instantaneous, shift points are revised, and engine power output is slightly increased. So basically, just mash the throttle mid-corner and watch that rear end dance its way around the apex.
Polestar’s mod is available on petrol and diesel 90 and 60 Series AWD cars as well as on the new XC40 compact SUV. We hope that the XC90 will also receive the same Polestar treatment as we wouldn’t mind seeing a seven-seat barge drifting into the school driveway to pick up the kids.