Volvos equipped with the 3.0-liter T6 turbocharged inline-six aren't exactly slow vehicles, but Volvo cars has released performance upgrades for them anyway: it has unveiled a line of software upgrades for the likes of the XC60, XC70, and S60 T6 models to up the power ratings without voiding the warranty.
Those upgrades come from Volvo's internal tuning house, Polestar, in the form of a new software package for the T6 engine. By reflashing the engine control unit, Polestar increases the power from 300 to 325 horses and the torque from 325 to 355 pound-feet, equal to the figures of the S60 and XC60 R-Design trims. The upgrade is available for all 2011-2012 S60, XC60, and XC70 models equipped with the T6. Volvo also says that the modifications don't make any changes to the already respectable fuel economy; holding at 21, 20, and 19 mpg combined, respectively
With power like that, the S60 T6 AWD with Polestar tuning would aim itself squarely at another European sport sedan with a 3.0-liter inline-six and all-wheel drive: the BMW 335i xDrive. On paper, the S60 T6 now has a 25 horsepower and 55 pound-feet advantage over the Bavarian rocketship, although BMW's rumored love of under-rating its engines means the competition might not be so clean cut.
How much will all this cost? At $1,495, it's not exactly an inexpensive modification, but the modifications are classified as factory-authorized, which means that you should be covered under the factory warranty if anything goes wrong.
With this move, Volvo now has performance upgrades available for nearly all models equipped with T5 and T6 engines, including the S40, C30, C70, S60, XC60, and XC70. Again, considering that most of these cars weren't exactly slow in the first place, lead footed Volvo owners should applaud the decision.