That manual transmission was from the S60R, modified with closer ratios for uninterrupted acceleration. Its only issue was the heavy-duty clutch installed to cope with the 424 lb-ft of torque, which made low-speed starts a challenge. Once underway it was quickly forgotten, but a production version will require lighter pedal pressure and more slippage than this on/off switch.
The short-throw lever, like the steering wheel and seats, wears a strip of alcantara to improve grip. It sits in a center console that was lowered to improve the ergonomics and it does indeed, as the cliché suggests, fall nicely to hand.
The Volvo seats have been enhanced with larger bolsters and lumbar, creating excellent support in this high-g sports sedan.
Considering the car was completed only three days before our visit, it was a remarkable testament to Polestar’s expertise and the S60’s versatility. In fact, this was the first time everything had been put together, with development of the engine and chassis being conducted by two different mules.
“There was so much to do in order to get everything working together,” explained Dahlgren. “This car is still early in its development phase and there’s plenty we can do, but we’ve been very close to its development for so long that it’s good to get feedback from other people to help us assess where it stands. Hopefully, we’ll be working on the cars until the last one is delivered because I always feel there’s more we can do.”
That said, the S60 Polestar had all the high production values of Germany’s best tuning houses, while having obviously been built by a company with a strong motorsport background that strived to preserve some of the original Volvo sensibility. It’s anything but a “sensible” car, yet it manages to feel safe and predictable, as a high-performance Volvo should. All that remains to be asked is whether Volvo Cars feels the same way we do about the prospect of a sports sedan.