POLESTAR is already planning upgrades for Volvo’s forthcoming hybrid and electric models.
Polestar marketing director Hans Baath said demand would always be there for performance upgrades, even on green cars.
‘Customers will want to upgrade their cars so it has to be considered,’ said Baath. Polestar modifies software to increase output by, on average, 20bhp and 50Nm of torque.
If the firm was let loose on Volvo’s new range of plug-in hybrids coming soon they could become the most powerful cars from the marque ever produced.
For example, the V60 plug-in hybrid – arriving in the UK in 2012 – currently produces 640Nm of torque and 285bhp, helping it hit 60mph in 6.9 seconds. It has a D5 diesel engine and electric motor that power the front and rear wheels, or can run on fuel or electricity independently. Polestar upgrades could make it even quicker.
‘If we don’t do it, the aftermarket will’
‘Our current upgrades do not affect emissions or the certified economy figures,’ added Baath, which suggests a Polestar package for hybrids could not be ruled out for eco reasons either.
‘If we don’t do it, the aftermarket will, and that can be damaging as the manufacturer has no direct control over it. Polestar products are warranted by Volvo and are official upgrades.’
Nothing has been confirmed by Volvo with regards to hybrid performance upgrades, but the very fact Baath was open to chat about the possibilities says a lot. Polestar upgrades are available at UK dealers for the manufacturer’s current range of cars.
Volvo is working hard on ensuring all performance modifications have a green slant too. Both the manufacturer and Polestar confirmed that KERS – technology made famous by its use in Formula 1 – is being tested for Volvo models.
‘KERS will feature in our Swedish touring cars next year,’ explained Baath, while a spokeswoman for the manufacturer told us the technology is likely to make production in just two years.
KERS harnesses power generated during braking to boost performance and cut fuel economy by up to 20 per cent. The manufacturer says it makes a four cylinder engine perform like a six cylinder.
One thing seems clear then – performance fans can rest easy that eco cars doesn’t necessarily mean an end to the thrill of driving.