It was only last week when Polestar upgraded the D5 diesel engine of the S90 and V90 and now time has come for the XC90 to get a bump in output. The model of choice is the flagship T8 Twin Engine which in standard configuration puts out a combined 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts) and 472 pound-feet (640 newton meters) of torque thanks to the turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine working together with an electric motor.
After applying its expertise, Polestar managed to bump those output numbers to a combined 421 hp (314 kW) and 502 lb-ft (680 Nm). The combustion engine now generates 334 hp (249 kW) and 324 lb-ft (440 Nm) whereas the electric motor is good enough for 87 hp (65 kW) and 177 lb-ft (240 Nm). With the power hike implemented, the Polestar-tuned XC90 T8 Twin Engine will run to 62 mph (100 kph) in only 5.5 seconds while retaining the same combined fuel consumption of just 2.1 liters / 100 km and the 43-km electric range.
Aside from giving the T8 Twin Engine setup more hybrid muscle, Polestar also improved throttle response and optimized the gear hold function which now keeps the selected gear during cornering at high lateral g-forces. It means there won’t be any unwanted gear shifts while the hybridized SUV is cornering and this should enable a sportier driving experience.
Polestar’s optimization for the XC90 T8 is now available in Europe and Volvo says it has plans for a U.S. launch this October. Don't hold your breath for an engine with six or more cylinders, as Volvo has made it clear it is taking the downsizing path, so the strongest Volvos will continue to have a four-cylinder combustion engine.
Gallery: Volvo XC90 T8 by Polestar
New Polestar optimisation makes XC90 T8 the most powerful Volvo ever
The new generation Polestar Performance Optimisation has just been released for the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, making the world’s most powerful and cleanest SUV even faster and more inspiring to drive.
The Polestar optimisation increases the performance to 421 hp and 680 Nm* and 0-100 km/h in 5.5 seconds, all this with unchanged, class-leading consumption of 2.1 l/100 km and 43 km of pure electric range.
The new generation Polestar optimisation does not only optimise the engine performance, but rather the entire drivetrain in five key areas. By improving throttle response, gearshift hold, speed and precision, as well as overall engine performance, the XC90 T8 reaches a new level of driving pleasure.
”Just a week after the introduction of the S90 and V90 optimisation, we move forward by launching our optimisation for the exciting and technically advanced XC90 T8 Twin Engine. This gives customers who want a new level of driving pleasure with their XC90 an easily accessible and attractive performance increase,” said Niels Möller, Chief Operating Officer of Polestar.
One of the main features of the new optimisation is the gear hold function that holds the selected gear during cornering at high lateral g-forces. This prevents unwanted gearshifts mid-corner that can unsettle the balance of the car, providing the driver with improved response and control during active driving.
Reigning four-time Scandinavian Touring Car Championship (STCC) champion and Polestar Cyan Racing driver Thed Björk has been part of the optimisation development.
”It is amazing for me as a racing and development driver to be able to work with the same kind of technology and philosophy for the XC90 as with my S60 race car. While an SUV like the XC90 might be far from what we usually work with, the core of the optimisation is the very same thing. It is about creating driving pleasure and usable performance, something I definitely think we have achieved,” said Thed Björk, who drives a Volvo S60 Polestar TC1 with Drive-E technology in the 2016 FIA World Touring Car Championship.
The Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine is available for the new generation Polestar Performance Optimisation from today**.
All changes as part of the Polestar Performance Optimisation are made with certified emissions, fuel consumption, service intervals and Volvo warranties unchanged.
Read more about the five features of the new generation Polestar Performance Optimisation here and visit the Polestar model overview to see if your Volvo can be optimised.
* 334 hp + 87 hp and 440 + 240 Nm combined 421 hp and 680 Nm
** The US release is scheduled for October 2016