It wasn’t long ago that the term “hybrid” was associated purely with economy and saving the earth. However, thanks to the introduction of a new breed of hybrid supercars from the world’s leading performance manufacturers, the term is no longer taboo in performance circles. Now, Volvo tuner Polestar has announced a performance upgrade for the Swedish automaker’s V60 Plug-In Hybrid sold overseas, and it's a preview of the future of automotive tuning.

The V60's available plug-in hybrid system features a turbocharged five-cylinder diesel engine that’s used to spin the front wheels and an electric motor at the rear axle, creating a through-the-road hybrid setup. Normally it produces 283 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque, but thanks to some tinkering with the engine’s ECU Polestar’s version produces 298 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque.

This makes it the most potent diesel-powered Volvo yet. Polestar says the vehicle will now accelerate from 0-62 mph in just 6.0 seconds but the fuel economy is unchanged at 130 mpg (based on European combined cycle testing for plug-in hybrids).

At present, the upgrade is available in Sweden, the Netherlands and the U.K. only. For readers in those markets, the upgrade is installed by the dealer and retains the car’s original warranty.

With Volvo’s future cars, starting with the next-generation XC90, set to feature hybrid powertrains for their most powerful variants, it’s likely we’ll see Polestar offering more upgrades for hybrid vehicles in the future, something its marketing boss Hans Bååth says is an area to watch.

”The Polestar optimization for the V60 [Plug-In Hybrid] combines a strong fuel economy with performance,” Bååth said. “We are happy to be able to offer the Volvo customers with more driving pleasure in combination with the latest hybrid technology, a very interesting area for the future."


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