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2017 Volvo S60 Polestar: Is it a precursor of where the industry is headed?

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For its third year, the roadgoing S60 Polestar gets a heart transplant. It’s now powered by an uprated version of Volvo’s Drive­E four­cylinder engine instead of the 3.0­liter inline six­cylinder, while an Aisin eight­speed replaces the former six­speed automatic transmission. Whereas the turbocharged six­cylinder was rated at 345 horsepower at 5250 rpm, the four is both supercharged and turbocharged and extracts 362 horsepower from a mere 2.0 liters of displacement. This engine is rated at 302 horsepower in the S60 and 316 horsepower in the XC90. 

 

Read more at:

 

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-volvo-s60-polestar-first-drive-review

 

The GIST:

 

Well they now have a twin-charged four-cylinder delivering more powa, and torque.

 

It's faster.

 

Is it a sign of the times - where the full force of displacement taxes in worldwide markets force automakers to downsize in order to market performance vehicles that are largely the same across the world?

 

It seems like it's an absolute certainty that is is the way things are going to go moving forward. China is starting to show it's effects on world-wide cars. Even Bentley probably only made the V8 model just to reduce the taxes that much more on their cars....

 

I'm reminded/haunted by how BMW said we'll only go away from the inline six until it is no longer feasible....

 

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The last time I looked into displacement taxes --and a global rundown is tough to find in one place-- it's not all that oppressive. A number of countries have moved away from displacement taxes, and in others it's a minor factor.

 

IMO, the reason for building a 360 HP 2.0L vs. a 340 HP 3.0 (or whatever the displacement there is) has much to do with production costs rather than displacement taxes in a handful of markets.

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But look at how this thing is priced too. at $60k, it's a tough pill for someone like me - who wants the top displacement, who wants all the boost, none of the ECO...and yeah.

 

Like this is one of those cars...I see why its exists, as Volvo needs a performance arm, but just the way they've gone it's like Lexus F in terms of results, or like AMG-lite or like V/M/Sport.

 

And even then! 2.0 litres of Scandinavia's finest.

 

That is just flat out crazy.

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