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March 09, 2012

Volvo XC60 with Polestar is One Hot Chili Pepper to Drive

VolVOXC60_T_6_Polestar"The aroma of good chili should generate rapture akin to a lover's kiss." Motto of the Chili Appreciation Society International.

When you think of Volvo you always think safety, right? My recent test drive showed a new more sexy racy side to Volvo after driving the Volvo XC60 T-6 R-Design. It had an extra hot chili pepper ingredient called Polestar. This Volvo is more like a cross between the safest car you will ever drive and a tightly wrapped sexy turbo charged race car.

Volvo_2012_Media_AskPattyDay one of the Volvo Sun ..With a Little Fun media event was a magical round trip drive in from the luxurious Montelucia Resort and Spa in Scottsdale to Sedona and back. The drive was 279 miles winding our way through spectacular Arizona desert landscapes, Prescott National Forest then up and over the newly dusted snowy mountains into the awe inspiring red rock formations of Sedona. My co-Driver was the ever cheerful auto writer Jo Ann Holt and we enjoyed a Mexican lunch with the Volvo team in Sedona. The drive back was mostly highway driving which gave us both the opportunity to test the vehicle for various driving terrains and conditions.

This powerful Volvo took the hills and curves with no problem, it has a tight quick response steering radius which felt more like it wanted to be a race car at times. By the way there are very strict speeding laws in Arizona with airplane radar detection everywhere we were warned about before we left. I struggled all day to keep my speed under control, this hot chili pepper Volvo wants to go fast!

One hiccup happened on a pit stop. I stepped out and could not get the key fob to lock the car. Very frustrated as Jo Ann trotted off.. I paced around clicking away with nothing locking for about 5 minutes. I walked away then back again and realized THE CAR WAS STILL RUNNING. That is one capital 'V' very quiet Volvo, I thought I had turned it off, Jody Car Girl FAIL! Boy did Jo Ann get a good laugh over that!

The Volvo XC60 T-6 R-Design with the Polestar engine performance tuning package adds engine power and torque, or as I say a "hot chili pepper" experience to this luxury crossover vehicle.  Polestar optimizes the power and torque without affecting fuel consumption.  This is possible thanks to Polestar's efficient tuning of the engine, which only increases the power output when it is needed.  The package also retains the original manufacturer warranty. Polestar Performance is headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, is Volvo Car's official Motorsport and Performance Partner.


Base price of $44,575 (including destination) with all of the Polestar extras.

Estimated MPG 19 City / 24 Highway

Standard features I loved:

Grocery bag holder that unfolds from the load compartment floor and keeps your shopping bags and other similar items in place
Integrated Bluetooth® handsfree system with streaming audio
Approach and Home Safe Lighting Activated with the remote control or Personal Car Communicator, a warm reception on a dark night

Technology Package is available on all XC60's.

It includes preventative safety technologies focusing on preventing driver distractions that studies show cause up to 90 percent of all traffic accidents. Based on this statistic, Volvo developed efficient features to help drivers avoid or reduce the severity of accidents caused by distraction and driver fatigue.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Queue Assist
Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake (CWAB)
Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake
Distance Alert (DA)
Driver Alert Control (DAC)
Lane Departure Warning (LDW)

Other Stand Alone options I liked:

VolvoXC60_Interior_askpattyBlind Spot Information System (BLIS) with power retractable outside mirrors
Keyless Drive with Personal Car Communicator, two-way car communication
Dual outboard two-stage child booster seats with adaptive seatbelts and power child rear door locks
Dual screen Rear Entertainment System (RSE)

For all 2012 Volvo XC60 model technical and Polestar add on options and specs visit Volvo Cars of North America.

I took a ton of gorgeous pictures: View the entire collection here.

Jody DeVere



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