American buyers simply don't "get" wagons. It's a basic reality that has haunted carmakers for decades and fueled a small but fervent cult of followers who continue to stubbornly swear by the boxy, long wheelbase format.
Thanks to crossovers and sport utes attracting the majority of buyers, premium wagon offerings are sparse—and performance options even more scarce. Audi's A4 Avant ($36,400) and BMW's 328i Sport Wagon ($37,500) are two sub-$40,000 German options, while the Cadillac CTS Wagon ($39,015) and Lincoln MKT ($45,295) offer alternatives for the domestically inclined. That's about all you've got in the market between $35,000 and $50,000—not counting the Volvo XC70 T6 AWD Polestar.
Volvo probably isn't the first brand you think of when it comes to performance, but their 2012 XC70 with the Polestar package of options is among a handful of new offerings that intend to subvert the brand's reputation as the Swedish source for all things safe, tried, and true.
How does this souped-up spinoff intend to carve a niche-within-a-niche for itself? We've got a few theories—keep reading.