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Volvo Polestar editions prove sport and safety coexist (pictures)

Volvo tuning partner Polestar came out with hotted-up versions of the S60 sedan and V60 wagon, adding power and handling acumen to these traditionally safety-oriented models.

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Wayne Cunningham
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Polestar, a separate company from Volvo, is devoted exclusively to racing Volvo cars and tuning up production models.

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Volvo and Polestar invited CNET to a day out driving both the S60 Polestar and V60 Polestar editions on road and track.

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As a wagon, the V60 Polestar occupies rare ground, as there are virtually no fast wagons available in the US.

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The V60 Polestar is heavier by 66 pounds than the S60 Polestar, and offers a slightly different ride characteristic.

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Polestar added a rear diffuser for better air flow and upgraded the exhaust system.

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The V60 Polestar gets a rear-lip spoiler.

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The S60 Polestar enjoys the same host of performance upgrades as the V60 Polestar.

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Front air effect helps guide air around and under the car.

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An upgraded suspension includes dual-flow-valve Ohlin dampers.

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The 3-liter six-cylinder engine relies on a twin scroll turbocharger to generate 345 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, going to all four wheels.

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This carbon fiber and aluminum strut brace looks like a cable, and provides good front-end rigidity.

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The included sport seats offer good bolstering and are very comfortable.

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The steering can be set to three different levels of effort.

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A six-speed automatic transmission is the only option, but its software has been upgraded for hard, fast shifts.

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The V60 and S60 Polestars come in one fully loaded spec, so they include Volvo's forward-sensing safety systems.

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The track feel is a little light, but these Polestar-edition cars are quite enjoyable as weekend sport drivers, and comfortable for the daily commute.

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