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When the all-new 2016 Volvo XC90 debuted in 2014, most of the world was in shock just from how awesome it looked. Volvo has always been about class, but it’s also prided itself in being more reserved than other automakers. And the new XC90, while reserved to some, is a pretty dramatic shift for Volvo. Its Thor’s hammer headlights and swoopy lines are new for the Swedish SUV, as is its insane, twin-engine, plug-in hybrid version. Despite its awesomeness, the XC90 was still lacking something: some love from Polestar.

Well, you may not have to wait much longer, as a report from Auto Express claims that Volvo has handed the D5 and T6 versions of the XC90 to its tuning and motorsports arm. Though there are no confirmed details to pass on yet, Volvo did tell Auto Express to look for a Polestar XC90 around 2016.

With the performance-oriented SUV reportedly only less than a year away, we went ahead and created a rendering of the XC90 Polestar, Volvo’s quickest and most powerful people hauler yet.

Updated 02/22/2016: Based on the recent spy shots and rumors, we created a rendering for the upcoming XC90 Polestar. Let us know in the comments section below what do you think about it.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2017 XC90 Polestar.

  • 2017 Volvo XC90 Polestar
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    60000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


On the outside, expect all of the usual Polestar additions, including beefy wheels and that iconic Rebel Blue paint. The star of the show, however, will be the body kit that Polestar will base upon the R-Design upgrade. Expect this kit to include a more aggressive front apron with larger openings to let in fresh air and more aggressive lower bumper piece with extensions under each inlet and a splitter-like element in the middle. Also look for a set of side-sill extensions and a sporty rear bumper that wraps around the larger exhaust pipe. An exclusive, lightweight wheel design is also in the books, as are a couple of blue Polestar badges on the front grille and tailgate. Finally, the performance brand could also add a larger spoiler atop the trunk lid for a more sporty appearance.

With the XC90 being stunning in its base trim, I can only imagine what the folks over at Polestar will do with it. I am sure it’ll be simply amazing.


2017 Volvo XC90 Polestar Interior
- image 553621

Note: Standard Volvo XC90 pictured here.

Inside, expect to see a cabin that is both refined and sporty. I look for Polestar to add a set of sport seats to wrap the driver and passenger up nicely, and plenty of sporty accents throughout. Polestar may even go all-out and add a few touches of carbon-fiber here and there. In terms of technology, you can expect just about every available option on the XC90 to be a part of the Polestar’s standard package. Expect to see an upscale audio system, loads of connectivity, a big touchscreen and, as always, every safety feature you can think of. (Hey, it’s still a Volvo.)

As it’s the case with every performance-oriented model, the infotainment system will be updated to a custom, Polestar signature display and and a couple of extra options in the menu.


2016 Volvo XC90 Drivetrain
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Note: Standard Volvo XC90 pictured here.

Auto Express reports that Michael Fleiss, Volvo’s vice president of powertrain, stated that Polestar will only work on the D5 diesel and the T6 gasoline models, leaving the dual-engine T8 model and its horsepower to its own devices.

In the U.S., we won’t get the D5 model yet, but it features a 2.0-liter 225-horsepower diesel powerplant that twists out 470 Nm (346 pound-feet) of torque. While Volvo didn’t dive into potential numbers, I suspect Polestar can push this diesel unit to around 275 horsepower and 525 Nm (387 pound-feet) of torque.

In the U.S., we’ll likely only see the T6 Polestar. In its standard setup, the XC90 T6 gets 316 horsepower from and 295 pound-feet of torque from its 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder. Polestar will likely crank the wick up to about 375 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, so not to interfere with the range-topping T8, rated at 400 horses and 472 pound-feet.

On top of being faster than the base model, the XC90 Polestar will also handle significantly better. Look for upgraded Ohlins dampers, thicker anti-roll bars, wide and sticky tires, and Brembo brakes to help keep the Polestar on the tarmac.


As far as pricing goes, the jury is still out, but maybe a $5,000 to $10,000 bump in pricing is in order. With the standard T6 priced from $49,800, expect the Polestar version to fetch anywhere between $55,000 and $60,000. As for the Euro-spec D5 version, which retails from €54,300 in Germany, it should fetch at least €59,000 in Polestar trim.



2015 BMW X5 M Exterior
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Going head-to-head with the X5 M in a straight line will spell big trouble for the XC90 Polestar, as the big M hits 60 mph in just four seconds thanks to its 567-horsepower, twin-turbo V-8. That said, the name of the game isn’t all about going fast in a straight line. The team at Polestar will likely set the bar pretty high in terms of handling, so look for the upgraded XC90 to corner with the best of them. Additionally, the X5 M will approach the $100k mark, and the XC90 will likely cost a fraction of that. What makes the decision here is whether a second quicker to 60 mph in worth a huge price hike.

Find out more about the BMW X5 M here.

Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG

2013 Mercedes GL63 AMG Exterior
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The GL63 AMG is another heavy hitter that will likely kill the XC90 Polestar in a straight line. But, just like the Bimmer, the Mercedes is significantly pricier than what I expect the XC90 Polestar to be. AMG manages to get 550 horses and 560 pound-feet of twist from the twin-boosted 5.5-liter V-8 under the GL’s hood. This gets the SUV to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, which is surprisingly slower than the X5 M and likely near the sprint time of the XC90 Polestar. With its base price starting from $119,450, the GL63 AMG also has that working against it.

Read more about the Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG here.


2017 Volvo XC90 Polestar Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 666694

I love Polestar. Everything it releases is solid gold. Sure, it doesn’t have the name recognition of BMW’s M division, AMG, or even RS, but what it does is deliver great performance rigs that are safe, well-built, and fun as hell to drive. Adding the Polestar magic to the super-sexy XC90 is wonderful indeed. Hopefully this report bears some fruit, and I also hope that Volvo decides to hand Polestar the keys to a T8 model to put the X5 M and GL63 AMG to shame.

  • Leave it
    • Likely a good bit less powerful that the X5 M or GL63 AMG
    • Why not toss the T8 to Polestar too?
Justin Cupler
Justin Cupler
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