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An even hotter version of Volvo’s new hatchback is on the way, and the Swedish manufacturer says Australia is a prime candidate for the new model, dubbed the Volvo V40 Polestar.

While the Volvo V40 R-Design, unveiled at the 2012 Paris motor show, is all about sporty styling enhancements that can be combined with all available powertrains from the 82kW D2 diesel to the high-performance 183kW T5 turbo petrol, the Volvo V40 Polestar promises to bring more serious power and performance enhancements.

Speaking with CarAdvice in Paris, Volvo R-Design program manager Sanna Johansson suggested Australia would be among the first markets in the world to get the Polestar-enhanced V40, revealing: “It’s definitely in our plans, especially for Australia, in 2013″.

The initial version of the Volvo V40 Polestar will get software upgrades only, but a more powerful version is expected down the track as part of a wider performance strategy for the company.

“At the moment, we are are only talking about software downloads for the V40 Polestar, but we do have plans for a more powerful version that would see further performance enhancements for the V40, entailing more than just software downloads,” said Johansson, who wasn’t prepared to talk about timing for the project.

Volvo says it is working on a global performance strategy that would see greater involvement with Polestar, which is also Volvo’s racing partner in the Swedish Touring Car series.

That could mean Polestar versions of each model in the Volvo line-up, although with the plans still in their infancy, Johansson was reluctant reveal more details at this stage.

The Volvo V40 R-Design will head the local line-up when the all-new compact hatch launches in Australia in the first quarter of 2013.