The all-new Volvo XC90 plug-in hybrid may give an unlikely lifeline to the stillborn Volvo V40 Polestar hot-hatch project.
The new Drive-E engine, unveiled overnight, produces 235kW of power. If fitted to a Volvo V40 Polestar, it would claim a slight advantage over the 221kW Audi S3 (206kW in Australia) and match the BMW M135i, though still leave it off the pace of the 265kW Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG.
AutoExpress says it is less clear whether the V40 Polestar would remain front-wheel drive like the current performance flagship, the 187kW V40 T5 (pictured), or switch to an all-wheel-drive set-up as featured beneath the V40 Cross Country as well as the high-performance C30 Polestar concept of 2010.
In June 2013, Polestar Performance managing director Haans Baath told CarAdvice an all-wheel-drive 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo V40 Polestar hot-hatch was “more than 50 per cent” complete before its development was halted when Volvo demanded focus turn to the S60 Polestar.
Despite being forced to idle the V40 Polestar program, Baath said tuning division had left the door open for a future, high-performance hot-hatch.
“There’s still a body shell in the workshop,” he said. “If you asked our drivers and engineers, they would be very happy to do [a V40 Polestar].”