Software optimization sends more torque to the rear wheels to enable a more engaging driving experience.
Polestar, now a standalone electric performance brand part of the Volvo Car Group, has prepared an interesting tweak for some Volvos equipped with all-wheel drive. Available only on products built on the CMA and SPA platforms from model year 2019 onwards, the software optimization modifies torque distribution by sending more of the engine’s available torque to the rear wheels.
A word of warning, though. You can’t have this upgrade on cars equipped with either the T6 Twin Engine or the T8 Twin Engine hybrid powertrain since these are already configured with a rear-drive focus thanks to an electric motor propelling the rear axle.
For the other new-age Volvos featuring only combustion engines, not only do you get more torque to the rear axle, but the frequency to which it happens is increased for more tail-happy thrills while still providing the extra traction you’d come to expect from an AWD car. Polestar says the upgrade improves steering and provides the driver with better control of the vehicle, while making it more agile during cornering. Since we’ve mentioned traction, there’s more of it when pulling away, so the software optimization provides the best of both worlds.
Enabling the new feature on cars fitted with the upgrade is quite simple as the driver can either select the Dynamic drive mode or disable the Electronic Stability Control.
Polestar will offer the software optimization on AWD-equipped XC40, 60 Series, and 90 Series Volvos with gasoline and diesel engines later this month. The torque boost for the rear axle is the latest example in a string of other Polestar upgrades tailored to Volvos to improve throttle response, add power, and enable quicker gear changes.
Aside from fiddling with Volvos, Polestar is also working on its own car, a 600-horsepower plug-in hybrid coupe due to hit the roads next year.
Polestar software upgrade delivers more rear-wheel torque in all-wheel drive Volvos
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has introduced a new Polestar-developed software upgrade that increases torque distribution to the rear wheels of Volvo cars equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD), for more dynamic driving.
The optimisation software, developed by Volvo Car Group’s new electric performance brand Polestar, increases the amount and frequency of torque distributed to the rear wheels, improving steering with enhanced turn-in, better control and engagement when cornering, and improved traction when pulling away, delivering a more engaging drive.
“We are always fine-tuning the driving experience of Volvo cars and this upgrade makes the all-wheel drive both smoother and more dynamic,” said Henrik Green, senior vice president of research and development at Volvo Cars.
The AWD optimisation is engaged simply by selecting the Dynamic drive mode, or when Electronic Stability Control is disengaged.
The new rear-wheel torque distribution feature adds another optimisation area to the latest Polestar software upgrade. The five existing areas include sharper throttle response, faster off-throttle response, quicker gear changes, optimised gearshift points and in-corner gear holding, as well as increased engine output.
The Polestar AWD optimisation will be available for petrol and diesel models of Volvo 90 Series, 60 Series and XC40 cars, from August 2018 onwards.
Applicable to all new Volvo cars built on SPA and CMA architecture from model year 2019 onwards and which feature all-wheel drive (excluding plug-in hybrid variants).
Plug-in hybrid models including T8 Twin Engine and T6 Twin Engine derivatives, which feature an electric rear axle drive (ERAD) system that utilises electric power only on the rear wheels, already provide a rear-drive bias and do not require further AWD optimisation.
In Europe, Polestar optimisation software is WLTP-compliant and forms part of the Certificate of Compliancy.
Polestar optimisations retain all Volvo factory warranties and are manufacturer approved.