Volvo’ standalone go-fast division, Polestar, has engineered a software tweak that vectors more torque to the rear wheels of all-wheel drive 2019model year S90, V90, XC90, S60, V60, XC60 and XC40 models. It’ available with all non-hybridised vehicles, and can be fitted by dealers. While it’ not about to turn your XC60 D4 into a tyre-frying Hoonigan, the software marks but one option in the Polestar Engineered Optimisation Accessory box of tricks. This also offers sharper throttle responses, revised gearshift mapping and, yes, more power.
ASTON MARTIN Vantage and DB11 Volante; BMW i8 facelift and i8 Roadster; CHEVROLET Camaro; FORD Everest update; HYUNDAI Ioniq hybrid, plug-in hybrid and EV; JAGUAR F-Pace upgrade and SVR; KIA Cerato hatch and GT; LAND ROVER Range Rover P400e plug-in hybrid; MAZDA CX-3 update; PORSCHE 911 GT3 RS; SKODA Fabia facelift; SUBARU Forester
ASTON MARTIN DB11 AMR; AUDI Q8 and RS5 Sportback; BENTLEY Continental GT coupe; FORD Focus and Mustang Bullitt; GENESIS G70 and G80 sedans; HOLDEN Acadia; HYUNDAI Veloster and Kona EV; JAGUAR I-Pace; JEEP Wrangler; LEXUS CT200h update; MAZDA MX-5 update and CX-9 facelift; MERCEDES-BENZ C63 AMG update and X350d 4MATIC
The flagship Genesis G70 is the one we’re excited about – 272kW of twin-turbo 3.3-litre V6 in a cut-price, rear-drive German muscle-sedan hunter complete with locally tuned steering and suspension. The most potent version is powered by the same 510Nm donk as the Kia Stinger, wrapped in a more traditional medium, four-door package. There will also be a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder version aimed at entry-level C-Class, A4 and 3 Series, but with Korean cost-of-ownership, warranty and value equation. Expect the hard-hitter to do 0-100km/h in 4.7sec, use 11L/100km and cost about $75,000. The 190kW/353Nm four will likely start at less than the Germans with a figure below $55K.
A substantial upgrade to the 2.0-litre four-cylinder is good reason for would-be buyers to wait for the updated MX-5, due in October. A decent power increase from 118kW to 137kW comes with improved official economy. The extra 19kW – torque is up 5Nm to 205Nm – comes via lighter pistons and conrods, bigger exhaust valves, a larger throttle body and a bigger bore exhaust also said to beef up the MX-5’s note. The addition of steering wheel reach adjustment will please tall drivers, and a brown fabric roof trim, tan leather interior trim, and black wheels and mirror caps bring new choice.
Fans of retro-inspired two-door muscle have something to look forward to in September. The HSV-delivered Chevrolet Camaro arguably shades the Blue Oval alternative in the visual department and with a 339kW/617Nm GM 6.2-litre LT1 V8 powering via an eightspeed auto it packs similar power and a bit more twist to the ’Stang. And, built on the rear-drive GM Alpha platform, with an LSD, the Camaro has the entertainment value to provide endless distraction from the typically North American interior finish.