Beast mode activated for Volvo South Africa

Volvo revealed an impressively extensive customised version of it’s popular XC60 plug-in hybrid – aptly called The Beast 2.0 – at the recent Festival of Motoring held at Kayalami. This reveal comes three year after the reveal of the first-generation Beast, incidentally also at the Festival of Motoring in 2019.

Its electrified successor has broken cover and this time benefits from subtle powertrain upgrades, too. The Beast 2.0 is one-of-a-kind SUV based on the Volvo XC60 T8 R-Design AWD but featuring a multitude of carefully considered updates, from an attractive cosmetic revamp to performance enhancements. In standard form, the plug-in hybrid T8 is already the most powerful XC60 ever, delivering total system outputs as high as 340kW and 709Nm.

With the addition of the innovative Polestar Engineered package, however, The Beast 2.0 displays even sharper reactions. This software results in faster engine response, more rapid gear shifts and better control during cornering, as well as improved balance in the corners and better traction at take-off courtesy of the bespoke AWD calibration.

In addition to becoming the first XC60 T8 in the country to receive the Polestar Engineered engine calibration, the one-off XC60’s four-cylinder petrol engine breathes out through a sport exhaust system supplied by Volvo specialists Heico Sportiv. Fashioned from stainless steel, the system frees up yet more power and comes complete with active flap control. This gives The Beast 2.0 two distinct aural characters: a sporty growl from the petrol engine under aggressive throttle inputs and virtual silence when only the rear-mounted electric motor is running in Pure mode (offering up to 81km of emission-free driving thanks to the 18.8kWh triple-layer battery pack).

Turning heads

Thanks to its bold exterior makeover, the upgraded XC60 is quite the looker. Drawing inspiration from the R-Design specification (which includes a dark finish for items such as the grille and side-mirror caps) and riding on black 21-inch five-spoke diamond-cut alloy wheels, The Beast 2.0 features a high-gloss black wrap complemented by slim yellow detailing on the front and rear bumpers. This eye-catching element is repeated on the XC60-branded brake callipers and exterior badging. It even boasts an aerodynamically efficient roof box replete with yellow Volvo branding.

Inside, the unique SUV gains special Polestar yellow seatbelts. The vehicle is fully specced, boasting items such as four-zone climate control, a Bowers & Wilkins sound system, a head-up display, a 360-degree camera system, a massage function up front, Volvo’s active chassis with air suspension and as many as four separate equipment packages (power seats, lighting, lounge and driver assist packs).

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