Apparently there’s a madness in the water when it comes to the world of powerful estates. Early this year we saw the launch of Audi’s RS6 Avant, while Swedish car maker Volvo have also got in on the act with their Polestar V60 estate.
While Mercedes themselves have the AMG E63, Brabus – the German high performance aftermarket company specialising in MB, Smart and Mayback – have upped the ante with the 850 Biturbo – a 6.0L 838 bhp version of the E63 AMG.
The original wasn’t exactly underpowered but this version is bonkers – a bored 5.9L engine with forged pistons and custom crankshaft, new turbos with larger compressors, special exhaust intake manifolds and an ECU upgrade gives the beast the ability to churn out a breathtaking 838 bhp and 1,069lb ft of torque (limited to 848lb ft, to ensure ‘longevity’). 0-100 takes just 3.1 seconds with a top speed of 217 mph.
Just imagine your kids’ faces when you decide to put your foot down on the school run.
While the design of the Volvo has evolved over the years, from a boxy tank on wheels to something which is increasingly moving toward automotive design beauty, the Swedish car brand isn’t exactly world-renowned for its sporty credentials when compared to other brands, the likes of the S60R and the earlier 850 Touring Car notwithstanding. The iconic Volvo driver is probably the school-run mum, toddling along in her nondescript Volvo estate, or older drivers who feel secure in something which would probably come out on top in a run-in with a bus.
The new Polestar V60 estate is a totally different kettle of fish however, another Volvo set to tear more shreds from the company’s sensible image. Exactly how much power does it have? If you said lots, that would be a good start.
The 2.9L engine delivers 345 horsepowers at the optimum speed, for one thing. Then there’s the 0-62 time – 4.9 seconds, for another. 155 mph limit, 369 lb ft of torque at 2,800 rpm. Lots of very impressive figures, none of which you would generally associate with a car which is also capable of carrying a load of your latest flat pack purchases from IKEA.
But it’s not just the components lurking out of sight which rail against the Volvo stereotypes – the whole design is sleeker, sharper, sportier and desirable, words not generally renowned for their use in conjunction with a Volvo estate.
It’s not by any means the first high-powered estate from a car manufacturer, it’s not even the first this year – Audi got in ahead with their RS6, a true mechanical beast with 568hp and a 4.0L twin turbo V8. Thankfully, Volvo has recently confirmed that the Polestar V60, along with a revamped S60 saloon, will go into production. One things for sure – the school run will never be the same.
Our response? Mental. We’ll take two.