It is safe to say that Volvo does not set their cars up for sporty handling and driving fun. They have in mind first and foremost safety, and that is doubly true of all-wheel-drive cars. Now, it must have become a major issue, because they have commissioned their tuning partner Polestar to come up with a new software, basically chip tuning, that would make things better for those customer not happy with the dull handling of their AWD Volvos.
The new Polestar software makes the car more engaging to drive by enhancing steering with improved turn-in, better control and engagement when cornering, and improved traction when pulling away. And they do that simply by increasing the amount and frequency of torque distributed to the rear wheels. The new setting takes effect when the dynamic drive mode is selected, or when the Electronic Stability Control is disengaged. So the default, safe setting is not compromised by default. This is, after all, still Volvo we’re talking about.
To be fair the Polestar software has other advantages for your Volvo, namely better throttle response, faster off-throttle response, quicker gearchanges, optimised gearshift points and in-corner gear holding, as well as increased engine output. The Polestar AWD optimisation software is available for August 2018-onwards Volvo 90 series, 60 series and XC40 in both diesel and petrol guises. The cost of this upgrade is yet to be announced.
“We are always fine-tuning the driving experience of Volvo cars, and this upgrade makes the all-wheel drive both smoother and more dynamic,” said Henrik Green, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Volvo Cars.