New Polestar performance optimization extends enhancements to vehicle drivetrain

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Volvo has revealed details of the new generation Polestar performance optimization for models with Drive-E engines, and has introduced a new concept where the drivetrain is optimized together with the engine. 

“The new generation marks a big step forward. By expanding our optimizations to the drivetrain, we are able to offer a new dimension in enhanced driving experience for performance-oriented Volvo customers,” says Christian Dahl, CEO, Polestar. 

The new generation, available for the majority of Volvo models with Drive-E engines, includes optimized engine performance, throttle response, gearshift speed, gearshift precision and off-throttle response. All changes are made with certified emissions, fuel consumption, service intervals and Volvo warranty unchanged. 

“We have opened up a vast area of improvements in terms of driving experience when working with the drivetrain combined with the cutting edge technology of the new Drive-E engines. We are able to offer Volvo drivers our 20-year motorsport experience in an exciting product without any drawbacks in terms of reliability, safety or environmental impact,” says Henrik Fries, product development director, Polestar Performance. 

The expansion to optimizing the drivetrain is a result of intense cooperation between Volvo Research and Development and Aisin Warner for the Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar. A number of improvements were found during that development period which are utilized in the new generation Polestar Performance optimizations; these have been focused on mid-range performance, improving the driving experience and driveability in a broad range of situations, fully utilizing the expertise of the Polestar and Volvo engineers and test drivers. 

“We use the same philosophy when developing the optimizations as for our race cars. Driveability is everything in racing; it is about having power available when you need it and to be in control. It is exactly the same thing when driving a road car. The more exact response to driver input and predictability from the powertrain, the higher level of control for the driver. This is something we have achieved with the new generation where we have focused on mid-range driveability for the engines and combined that with a further developed gearbox and throttle package. This is the next level of driving experience for Volvo cars,” said Thed Björk, test driver and reigning STCC champion for Polestar. 

The first optimizations will be released in the last week of June 2015, starting with the T6, T5, D5 and D4 engines. Over 140 different variations of optimizations will continue to be released over the coming months. 

Throttle response has been optimized for improved feedback and response, for example when overtaking or during active driving on a twisty road. The calibration means the engine responds faster to the commands of the driver thereby providing a more precise driving experience. 

The gearbox and engine has been calibrated to provide a faster response when the driver quickly lifts off the throttle for a brief moment, for example during a short period of braking ahead of a corner. These functions keep the car in balance during fast cornering and provide the driver with improved predictability and control of the car. 

All Drive-E optimizations are developed to provide more performance in the mid-range of the engine where the driver uses it the most when driving actively, for example during overtaking or when entering a busy highway.

The increased mid-range performance in combination with the supporting changes for the gearbox and throttle response makes the car more dynamic and responsive to drive.

April 30, 2015

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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