Since rounding out the 90 series lineup with the V90 estate back in February, Volvo has been focusing a little more downmarket, previewing the new 40 series while working on the new 60 series. Now it's circled back to the top, putting a Polestar cherry atop all three 90 series models. The XC90 T8 Polestar now becomes the most powerful Volvo ever.
Announced today, the new XC90 T8 Twin Engine Polestar Performance Optimization follows last year's debut of XC90 T6 and D5 Polestar options. The package increases the potency of the T8 hybrid powertrain to 421 hp (314 kW) and 501 lb-ft (680 Nm), up from 400 hp (298 kW) and 472 lb-ft (640 lb-ft) on the standard model.
More than just basic engine tuning, the Polestar package brings a multi-point modifications suite that improves throttle response; gearshift hold, speed and precision; and engine performance in the mid-range, promising more driving enjoyment all around. Volvo explains that the gearshift hold feature works to prevent unwanted shifting during high g-force cornering, thereby improving response and control.
While it's only modestly more powerful than the standard XC90 T8, Volvo calls the new Polestar its most powerful offering ever (we'll have to discount anything out of the trucks division). The performance model hits 62 mph (100 km/h) from stop in 5.5 seconds while offering estimated fuel consumption of 112 mpg-e (2.1 L/100 km), unchanged from the standard XC90. It can drive an estimated 26.7 miles (43 km) on battery power alone.
The XC90 T8 will be immediately available in select markets and will launch in the US in October. The EPA rates the standard XC90 T8 at 53 mpg-e (4.4 L/100km) in EV mode and 25 mpg (9.4 L/100km) combined city/highway driving.
The XC90 Polestar, which is available now, follows the S90 and V90 Polestar models (pictured above) announced last week, which feature similar multi-point performance upgrading.