Polestar upgrade... "rubber meets the road".. instrumented testing?
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    1. #1

      Polestar upgrade... "rubber meets the road".. instrumented testing?

      Hi

      I've been reading a bunch about the polestar upgrade on these forums and I'm pretty astonished not one source - here or anywhere I can google - can list an actual, real world, instrumented difference in acceleration #s for this $1,000 upgrade.

      I can only surmise that it delivers very little to no actual increase in acceleration.... it just "feels" zippier.

      If it did provide at least a modicum or more of increased speed.. say 0.3> reduction in 0-60 or some other objective measure... it would be all over the brochures and whatnot, right?

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    3. #2
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      it is in the Polestar brochure, I looked it up when buying our R-Design Polestar. It adds about 25 HP and shave off ~ 0.3 sec in 0-60 mph.
      2019 XC90 R Design Polestar

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      Quote Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
      Hi

      I've been reading a bunch about the polestar upgrade on these forums and I'm pretty astonished not one source - here or anywhere I can google - can list an actual, real world, instrumented difference in acceleration #s for this $1,000 upgrade.

      I can only surmise that it delivers very little to no actual increase in acceleration.... it just "feels" zippier.

      If it did provide at least a modicum or more of increased speed.. say 0.3> reduction in 0-60 or some other objective measure... it would be all over the brochures and whatnot, right?
      Here is the link: https://engineered.polestar.com/us/p...tomatic-2019-1
      2019 XC90 R Design Polestar

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    6. #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Peter Fan View Post
      That link shows a tenth of a second decrease. Which is pretty much no decrease as it's within the margin of error for most instrumented tests.

    7. #5
      Member lamarguy's Avatar
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      Ya, 1/10th of second is what I've seen quoted. Most folks seem to like the transmission optimizations (holding a lower gear longer, slight decrease in shift delay).

      Volvo never offered it for the T8, but I would've passed anyway because the electric motors optimize/augment the torque delivery enough as-is.
      OSD '18 XC60 T8 Momentum - 22" 10-spoke wheels, lowered air suspension, strut tower bar, Stealth hitch

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      The purpose of the Polestar tune seems to be to augment the real world driving experience, not to set drag strip times. Speaking of drag strips, they can accurately measure to 0.001 seconds so 0.1 seconds is very significant.

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      As the max power does not increase so much it is evident that acceleration at full throttle will not improve a lot. What changes is the torque at low rev's, that makes the car more lively at middle throttle. But if you floor the car, there are not so much differences.
      So, if what you seek is better 0-60 time, don't buy P*.

    10. #8
      Junior Member chmax's Avatar
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      I installed p* on my car as it was very sluggish when moving off at intersections, etc. I was positively surprised by the results, so much that I will have it on my new MY20 as well. Fuel efficiency stays the same, tested over 140'000Km. This is not the same feeling you can get in a 600HP+ chip-tuned Audi RS6 ... but if you are looking for this kind of kicks you are looking at the wrong car
      current Dec 2019/MY20 XC90 T6 Inscription black with p*
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    11. #9
      Junior Member Volvolic's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
      Hi

      I've been reading a bunch about the polestar upgrade on these forums and I'm pretty astonished not one source - here or anywhere I can google - can list an actual, real world, instrumented difference in acceleration #s for this $1,000 upgrade.

      I can only surmise that it delivers very little to no actual increase in acceleration.... it just "feels" zippier.

      If it did provide at least a modicum or more of increased speed.. say 0.3> reduction in 0-60 or some other objective measure... it would be all over the brochures and whatnot, right?
      From your post, it looks like you've done a lot of reading about the Polestar tune but haven't driven and did a side-to-side comparison with a Polestar tuned and a stock Volvo.

      If you approach the Polestar upgrade with a theoretical mindset of judging it, looking at only numbers and figures, you will be disappointed. There is more to a tune that just numbers. It's the way the power is delivered, and the transmission shift points altered. I never found the stock T6 motor sluggish. But I found the T6 with the Polestar tune to be quiet peppy for a 2+ ton station wagon, so I went for it. A lot of engine/transmission management goes into a tune to make the Vehicle "feel" zippier.

      Of course, if you're a German enthusiast and used to APR tunes, which are absolute bang for the buck, I can understand why the disappointment.

      Also, Polestar offers a buy-back if you're unsatisfied with the tune within 30 days of install, so there's that.
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    12. #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Don Ridley View Post
      The purpose of the Polestar tune seems to be to augment the real world driving experience, not to set drag strip times. Speaking of drag strips, they can accurately measure to 0.001 seconds so 0.1 seconds is very significant.
      o-60 times are not measured by drag strips. 1/4 mile times, however, are... and are indeed accurate as it's a fixed distance with two electronic eyes.

    13. #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Volvolic View Post
      From your post, it looks like you've done a lot of reading about the Polestar tune but haven't driven and did a side-to-side comparison with a Polestar tuned and a stock Volvo.

      If you approach the Polestar upgrade with a theoretical mindset of judging it, looking at only numbers and figures, you will be disappointed. There is more to a tune that just numbers. It's the way the power is delivered, and the transmission shift points altered. I never found the stock T6 motor sluggish. But I found the T6 with the Polestar tune to be quiet peppy for a 2+ ton station wagon, so I went for it. A lot of engine/transmission management goes into a tune to make the Vehicle "feel" zippier.

      Of course, if you're a German enthusiast and used to APR tunes, which are absolute bang for the buck, I can understand why the disappointment.

      Also, Polestar offers a buy-back if you're unsatisfied with the tune within 30 days of install, so there's that.
      A couple of thoughts about this. 0-60 isn't the only way to measure an increase in performance which I think should be the objective of any tuning modification from a performance company. There are increases in HP and Torque.. but they don't seem to translate to much on "from a dead stop" acceleration. But as many say.. that isn't the only measurement of increase in power.. and perhaps much less real world than, say, an increase in 50-70 mph acceleration (or whatever speed range approximates "passing power").

      Second, if this really doesn't deliver any real world, noticeable increase in *measured* acceleration.. but from a "feeling" perspective is more enjoyable... why the heck hasn't Volvo simply made this an improvement on ALL XC90s? Seems it would be very much in their interest to do so... delivering that better feeling of smoothness, increased "pep" or whatever.. would be felt when someone was test driving the car, no?

      Seems like that would be much more in their interest than selling, what, 5%? 2%? of all XC90 owners a $1,000 "upgrade".

      Yes, I realize polestar used to be a separate entity.. but how hard, really would it be for Volvo to copy what they've done. Or license it.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Volvolic View Post
      From your post, it looks like you've done a lot of reading about the Polestar tune but haven't driven and did a side-to-side comparison with a Polestar tuned and a stock Volvo.

      If you approach the Polestar upgrade with a theoretical mindset of judging it, looking at only numbers and figures, you will be disappointed. There is more to a tune that just numbers. It's the way the power is delivered, and the transmission shift points altered. I never found the stock T6 motor sluggish. But I found the T6 with the Polestar tune to be quiet peppy for a 2+ ton station wagon, so I went for it. A lot of engine/transmission management goes into a tune to make the Vehicle "feel" zippier.
      ^100% this.

    15. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
      A couple of thoughts about this. 0-60 isn't the only way to measure an increase in performance which I think should be the objective of any tuning modification from a performance company. There are increases in HP and Torque.. but they don't seem to translate to much on "from a dead stop" acceleration. But as many say.. that isn't the only measurement of increase in power.. and perhaps much less real world than, say, an increase in 50-70 mph acceleration (or whatever speed range approximates "passing power").

      Second, if this really doesn't deliver any real world, noticeable increase in *measured* acceleration.. but from a "feeling" perspective is more enjoyable... why the heck hasn't Volvo simply made this an improvement on ALL XC90s? Seems it would be very much in their interest to do so... delivering that better feeling of smoothness, increased "pep" or whatever.. would be felt when someone was test driving the car, no?
      As someone else mentioned, if you drive without P* then get into a car with P*, you'll immediately notice the difference in performance. The peak HP and torque figures are not a good indicator of midrange performance, where most people are using the car day to day.

      Quote Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
      Seems like that would be much more in their interest than selling, what, 5%? 2%? of all XC90 owners a $1,000 "upgrade".
      Couldn't you make the same argument for virtually any upgrade?

      Quote Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
      Yes, I realize polestar used to be a separate entity.. but how hard, really would it be for Volvo to copy what they've done. Or license it.
      Polestar and Volvo are owned by Geely. The only change that's happened is that Polestar was removed from the Volvo management chain, and put under its own management chain. But being both wholly owned by Geely, there's no "copying" necessary.

    16. #14
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      I have a US spec 2020 T8 with Polestar.
      I can affirm that the difference from my prior non-Polestar T8 is quite noticeable. The power delivery is so much smother and the word that comes to mind is "solid" as in a solid mid-range pull that was previously absent.
      It's only with a side-by-side driving comparison that you can appreciate the improvement.

    17. #15
      No, I think this upgrade is much different than, say, something from Dinan or Callaway or others that can maintain warranty coverage but supply significant performance enhancement.

      Of course, those are usually much more costly as they are doing more than just altering software or chipping the engine...

    18. #16
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      I have a 17 with Polestar and have driven 18 and 19 loaners without it. Its not just the low end power but drivability as a whole. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I don't do track days with this car (does anyone?) so the numbers mean little to me.

    19. #17
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      I've had my car for 1 year and recently did the P* upgrade. I love the mid range power and the throttle response off the line. I recently wondered if it was really worth what is costs though. Fast forward a few weeks and my car had to go to the dealer for slowness issues with my screen. I've been in a 2020 loaner for the past 6 days and I can't wait to get back into my car.

    20. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by sam818 View Post
      I have a US spec 2020 T8 with Polestar. .
      P* is available on US spec T8's now?

      I usually don't pay attention to these threads because the questions and arguments are always the same.
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    21. #19
      Junior Member RootDKJ's Avatar
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    22. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by n a m View Post
      P* is available on US spec T8's now?

      I usually don't pay attention to these threads because the questions and arguments are always the same.
      Yes. Polestar is available on MY2020 US spec. XC90 T8's.

    23. #21
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      For someone who almost always drives in Comfort, would the Polestar optimization be a waste?
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      Quote Originally Posted by thorin33 View Post
      For someone who almost always drives in Comfort, would the Polestar optimization be a waste?
      No, because the responsiveness, even in Comfort, is improved as well.

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      Quote Originally Posted by nbvolks View Post
      No, because the responsiveness, even in Comfort, is improved as well.
      Do you need to turn off traction control to have Polestar kick in while in Comfort mode?
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      I had p* added to my 2018 V60 AWD. A few days after picking it up from the dealer after they ran the upgrade I returned to ask them if they could tell me if it was really installed. I talked to the mechanic who hooked it up and said he could only tell me that his system had a record that it was. On the 2018, there is no user screen info that tells you that you have p".

      You can probably tell from what I am saying that this upgrade is not impressive. More to the point, I can't tell any difference. This so-called upgrade is a >1k ripoff and fraud.

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      Quote Originally Posted by vrover View Post
      I had p* added to my 2018 V60 AWD..
      Sounds like Polestar potentially performs quite differently on the V60 from the XC90 (which the OP and thread is specifically referring to).
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    28. #26
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      Quote Originally Posted by vrover View Post
      I had p* added to my 2018 V60 AWD. A few days after picking it up from the dealer after they ran the upgrade I returned to ask them if they could tell me if it was really installed. I talked to the mechanic who hooked it up and said he could only tell me that his system had a record that it was. On the 2018, there is no user screen info that tells you that you have p".

      You can probably tell from what I am saying that this upgrade is not impressive. More to the point, I can't tell any difference. This so-called upgrade is a >1k ripoff and fraud.
      You can get it uninstalled if you aren't happy within 30 days and get your money back if you aren't happy
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      Quote Originally Posted by thorin33 View Post
      Do you need to turn off traction control to have Polestar kick in while in Comfort mode?
      No. The difference in Comfort mode seems to be quicker shifts and better pedal response.

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      The difference in Polestar is obvious in all driving modes and certainly not a perception. The torque curve bumps up from mid-200s to 325 from 1500-4000 rpm as part of the polestar upgrade and the significantly increased and flattened torque curve is exactly how it performs. The torque bump ranges from 30-75 lb-ft as the stock 295 torque is just a peak number, not a flat number like the 325 is. You'll immediately notice increased midrange, better and quicker shifting, and more predictable gear changes. The tune is about drivability and real world performance, this isn't a trackday tune intended to give you better drag strip times.

    31. #29
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
      Ya, 1/10th of second is what I've seen quoted. Most folks seem to like the transmission optimizations (holding a lower gear longer, slight decrease in shift delay).

      Volvo never offered it for the T8, but I would've passed anyway because the electric motors optimize/augment the torque delivery enough as-is.
      There is a T8 Polestar optimization available.
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    32. #30
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by nickv View Post
      The difference in Polestar is obvious in all driving modes and certainly not a perception. The torque curve bumps up from mid-200s to 325 from 1500-4000 rpm as part of the polestar upgrade and the significantly increased and flattened torque curve is exactly how it performs. The torque bump ranges from 30-75 lb-ft as the stock 295 torque is just a peak number, not a flat number like the 325 is. You'll immediately notice increased midrange, better and quicker shifting, and more predictable gear changes. The tune is about drivability and real world performance, this isn't a trackday tune intended to give you better drag strip times.
      Perfect description!
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    33. #31
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      Quote Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
      Hi

      I've been reading a bunch about the polestar upgrade on these forums and I'm pretty astonished not one source - here or anywhere I can google - can list an actual, real world, instrumented difference in acceleration #s for this $1,000 upgrade.

      I can only surmise that it delivers very little to no actual increase in acceleration.... it just "feels" zippier.

      If it did provide at least a modicum or more of increased speed.. say 0.3> reduction in 0-60 or some other objective measure... it would be all over the brochures and whatnot, right?
      Aren’t you the guy who was in a tizzy about possibly having the wrong car delivered?
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    34. #32
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      i'd definitely have sprung for the polestar upgrade that summer they were offering it for free to choose from either that or a mykey. But I'll never pay a car company for something that should have been that way from the get go. I mean, who wouldn't expect their car to have the most optimized and efficient tuning from the factory?

      "I'm sorry sir, your new car comes with halfassed engine optimization, but for $1000 more you can get your car's engine optimized they way it should be" ….such a scam.

      But any more these tunes sound like a smoke and mirrors game. They are just remapping the car to "feel" more powerful in parts of the power band it didn't before so people are like "oh yeah this is much better!" Yet as others have mentioned the end result is a car that isn't nominally faster than before.

      At any rate, do you really want to stress these drive-e ****ters? Between the crumbling plugs, leaky superchargers, leaky injectors, etc...you are just asking for some trouble.
      Last edited by inteller; 12-22-2019 at 01:31 PM.
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    35. #33
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      I sometimes wonder whether those guys ripping into Polestar have actually tested it or just give us their opinions based on numbers from leaflets.

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      I can't believe we need to debate the validity or effectiveness of a tune on a turbocharged engine. These engines can be adjusted for measurably different behavior and performance. And no, the manufacturer can't tune it to make everyone happy.

      I'm just glad this is an option on a luxury car.

    37. #35
      Quote Originally Posted by Mikey54 View Post
      Aren’t you the guy who was in a tizzy about possibly having the wrong car delivered?
      Nope, not me.

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