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by Daniel DeGasperi

Volvo tuning company Polestar was preparing to create a circa-258kW all-wheel-drive Volvo V40 Polestar hatch based on a World Touring Car Championships (WTCC) racer, but the plan was pulled to focus on development of the S60 Polestar sedan.

Speaking at the local launch of the Volvo S60 Polestar today, managing director of Polestar Performance, Haans Baath, said development of a V40 racecar was “more than 50 per cent” complete when Volvo demanded the focus turn to S60.

Asked whether the Volvo V40 racer could have been turned into a production car, Baath replied “absolutely”.

Volvo S60 Polestar performance concept - 2

“The V40 for the WTCC … would have been very close to production cars,” he continued.

“The plan at that time was to evaluate the championship, and the proposed plan was to run three cars [V40s] in the WTCC for three years, but it was halted and the decision was to go with S60.

“To give up the project … it was really hard. We had come very far. The engine, it’s an engine we really like. It’s Volvo’s new [1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo] engine and we had run it in the championship for the 2011 season.”

Volvo V4008

Baath confirmed that although WTCC rules require a 1.6-litre engine, for a production car Volvo would likely have used the same 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine used in production V40 hatchbacks.

“This is just speculating now, but a V40 from Polestar would have been a five-cylinder with a four-wheel-drive system,” continued Baath, who cites the Renault Sport Megane 265 as “the perfect competitor”.

The five-cylinder engine has already been highly tuned for the Ford Focus RS, but Baath says he would have expected to get more power out of the engine for use in the V40.

Volvo V40 22

“The RS is a front-wheel-drive car,” he points out.

“To be frank, it [224kW] is a bit more than it really can handle. But in a four-wheel-drive car 350hp [258kW] … it can do a very good job in a four-wheel-drive V40.”

The manging director of Polestar points to the reception of the S60 Polestar as being a primary decider of whether such a car is revived.

Volvo S60 Polestar 06

Polestar has just 30 employees, and Australia will test the water for an expanded production Polestar line-up. It all depends on whether we like, then buy, the $109,950 Volvo S60 Polestar.

So will Australians decide the fate of the Swedish performance company’s tuning future with Volvo?

“More or less, yes,” Baath answers. “Likewise with you guys [media], we have our destiny in your hands.”

Volvo S60 Polestar - 1

All things going well, however, Baath wants to increase production of the S60 Polestar, and is leaving the door open to a V40 Polestar production car revival.

“I prefer to say it’s halted,” he says, grinning.

“There’s still a body shell in the workshop. If you asked our drivers and engineers, they would be very happy to do [a V40 Polestar].”

  • Dudeface

    Do it Volvo/Polestar! 350HP 5-pot, AWD and a manual, price it under the A45 and watch it roll out of the showrooms…

  • C S cowboy

    No thanks Svenska

  • JoeR_AUS

    Now that Volvo/Yamaha are developing the 5 litre for V8 Supercars, why not use the engine in production cars? The original engine was in the S80, XC90 so Hanns a high performance version like a S60 V8 AWD with around 300-375kw would be a logical model.

    • Phil

      for starters, the turbo 6 is quite capable of more power. The gearbox is the issue, with Volvo’s auto pretty much on its limit with the Polestar’s torqe output. It’s also designed as a transverse layout, a V8 would be problematic with Volvo’s emphasis on safety. I’m not sure that the 5litre will retain the B8442’s 60 degree V, as that is an inherently unbalanced layout for a V8. If they make a new 90 degree block to get a balanced race engine without needing counter-rotating balance shafts, it definitely won’t fit the transverse layout of the S60.

      • JoeR_AUS

        1. Turbo 6 is capable of more power, the Polestar S60 was held back by the Auto, but not more than a V8, a 5litre could produce 300-375kw in road form. If you add turbo like the Noble M600 did, its rated at 485kw with the 4.4L

        2. Gearbox is a issue, need a more robust manual or Auto for either engine.

        3. Volvo have had V8’s in S80 and XC90 and the USA prefer V8 over Turbos

        4. 60° is not a problem

        5. tranverse layout, thats why the Volvo/Yamaha built engine was designed as 60° to be narrow and fit the Volvo. Also, it is shorter than a straight 6, google Volvo V8 click images

        6. The marketing potential would be attractive, you would have a direct link to V8 Supercars and a real AMG, M-Series, RS competitor

        • Swedishiron

          most Euro manufactures are moving away from V8s -and using less 6 cylinders – the base engines in the Audi A6 and BMW 5 series are 4 cylinder turbo now. The M4 (replacing the M3) will use a turbo 6 replacing the M3(s) V8. The Polestar S60 is actually putting out 400LB of torque through its six speed automatic (which explains its low 0-60MPH time) – Volvo engineers have stated such and that Volvo is purposely underrating its power.

      • Swedishiron

        My understanding is the S60 Polestar is actually delivering 400LB of torque and Volvo is purposely underrating the Polestar Inline Six power.

  • horsie

    pleasae excuse my ignorance of volvo’s. The road going normal V40 , thats FWD right?

    • Phil

      FWD and AWD, the cross country V40 is AWD with the T5 engine. Not a big stretch for Polestar to make a high performance model.