Exiting the pits, my first impression of the Volvo is of a car that feels stiff, committed and extremely fast. The engine too has a strong surge around 3000rpm which just makes it feel extremely sporty. Then there is the AWD system, which combined with the sticky Michelin rubber gives it a leech-like grip, stability and composure. All this served to give me much confidence, despite this being my first time inside a Volvo S60. But the main problem with this particular model of the Polestar were the brakes which were well past their best. They were slowing down the car enough, but they were wobbling and didn’t give me any assurance, especially in corners like C4 or C8, where braking hard and as late as possible is very important. Overall the Volvo felt fast, agile and fun, but the brakes were going to be a question mark especially when Rayomand will push to set a lap time.
With the Audi there aren't such issues and where the S60 felt stiff and more committed the S5 is a bit of a softy in comparison. It rolls more into corners but not overtly so and the 3.0-litre V6 engine has an extremely linear power delivery which just makes going faster easier. Then there were the brakes which were strong and effective. When you push the S5, it just envelopes around you, giving you loads of confidence to go fast easily. If I had to fault the S5, then it has to be in terms of weight. It doesn't feel as light footed as the Volvo, especially in faster corners like C1 and tight bends like C10.