Volvo, the brand that wild-caught and domesticated the word “safe” has a dark side, one that want to manipulate the automaker’s engineering into a weapon for performance. Polestar is that dark side, and Volvo might be ready to let it out of its cage with the V40 as bait.
Hot hatchbacks are very much a thing once more, with insane versions in the works each year. Ford’s Focus RS will boast a sophisticated all-wheel drive system and over 300 horsepower. Audi’s RS3 will cling to its five-cylinder roots and push over 360 horses to all four wheels. Its sibling, the Golf R400 could make up to 400 ponies by the time it gets to production. Volvo is tired of watching; it wants to play the game.
By all accounts, Polestar has what it takes to bring one hell of an upgrade to the V40 if production is approved. In 2010, the C30 Polestar was showcased with 405 hp and while it was only a one-off model, production Polestars soon followed in the form of the S60 Polestar and V60 Polestar.
Both models made 350 hp from a T6 engine and made the sprint to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. The proof is in the Polestars, and what may be coming to the V40 is a recipe for hot hatch brilliance.
Reportedly, the V40 Polestar will use a version of the new 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged Drive-E engine from the XC90, sans electric motor, to develop around 300 horsepower. Keeping the power in check would be Volvo’s Haldex all-wheel drive system from the T5 version.
Similar to the S60 and V60 Polestars, the electric blue paint will likely as crazy as the V40 gets in the visual department, but isn’t there a bit more fun to be had with a sleeper hot hatch anyway?
The dark side isn’t always pernicious, and Polestar deserves a chance to prove it can make high performance look civilized.