2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered Essentials: Sweden’s plug-in thrill machine

Highlights: The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered gets a 15-horsepower boost compared to other T8s, but it’s all Volvo’s turbo/supercharged 2.0-liter four. Calibration changes lift peak horsepower to 328, right at the 6,000 rpm redline, while torque increases 22 pound feet to 317, at a substantially higher 4,500 rpm. The synchronous electric motor that powers the rear wheels is identical to other T8s, with 87 hp and 177 lb-ft for maximum drivetrain output of 415 hp, 494 lb-ft.
Chassis upgrades include Öhlins manually adjustable shocks and a strut-tower brace. The Akebono brakes add 14.6-inch front rotors with six-piston, gold painted calipers. The standard wheels measure 21 inches in diameter, with a 22-inch Pirelli P-Zero upgrade.
Polestar appearance bits include badges and a mostly gloss-black body kit, grille and exhaust tips. Inside, there are gold seat belts and a high level of standard equipment, including the high-end Bowers & Wilkins audio system.
Our Opinion: With the XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered you’ll get good-looking SUV with one of the most appealing cabins in the competitive set. You’ll get useful space for a family of four in a relatively compact package, a tight unibody and a driving experience that’s quiet and vibration free. You’ll get all the Volvo safety stuff. Off course, you’ll get everything noted above in an XC60 T6 AWD with essentially the same engine, and a price that starts at about $46,000. The question is whether Polestar engineering is worth an extra $25 large.