Vehicle safety is undoubtedly Volvo’s calling card but it does have another side.

Like its now-defunct fellow Swedish manufacturer Saab, Volvo’s interest in sports and competitive driving goes back decades.

By Alex Forrest

Today, Volvo’s performance arm is Polestar, a Swedish vehicle tuning company Volvo has been working with since 1996. In July this year, Volvo bought 100 per cent of the Polestar business.

For now, we have the V40 Polestar and this, the S60 Polestar.

Of all markets outside Sweden, Australia has the longest history with Polestar Volvos. Australia took the first 50 of the limited edition production S60 Polestar cars in 2013 as a test, ahead of the model being introduced to other markets worldwide.

What we have here is the third generation of those cars, the 2015 S60, which is also available in wagon form as the V60 Polestar.

For the 2015 model, the brakes have undergone significant upgrades and now include six-piston Brembo callipers and 371mm front ventilated discs.

This increased braking capacity is exerted on larger 20-inch wheels (19-inches previously) wrapped with wider 245mm tyres (235mm previously).

The stainless steel active exhaust system has also been thoroughly revised.

When sports mode is selected, the already free-flowing system opens up even further, increasing the growl of the transversely-mounted, 3.0-litre turbocharged straight six-cylinder engine.

That power plant is capable of making 257kW and a 500Nm when asked to, but there’s nowhere on a public road you can explore that, so some quality time on a closed road would be the answer there.

The interior appointments are at the level you’d expect in a car threatening to damage your bank account by just over $100,000.

Volvo’s huge suite of vehicle safety technology is of course also available in the S60 Polestar.

The perforated leather seats are the kind that will hold you tautly in place on twisty roads but are also comfortable enough to drive to Augusta in.

The Volvo S60 Polestar is a captivating mix of cutting edge safety technology in a highly engaging luxury driver’s car which refreshingly, is also not the stereotypical choice in this part of the market.

Volvo S60 Polestar  Specifications

Price driveaway (as tested): from $110,730 drive away
Engine: 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder turbo petrol
Power: 257kW @ 5,250rpm
Torque: 500Nm @ 3,000rpm
Claimed fuel economy: 9.9L/100km
ANCAP Rating: 5 stars
CO2 Emissions: 243g/km