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First look: Volvo S60 Polestar is official

Pole dancing: This image of the Volvo S60 Polestar concept was plucked from a video and posted on Facebook.

Race-bred Volvo S60 Polestar emerges in teaser video ahead of Swedish debut

11 Jun 2012

VOLVO has teased a ballistic S60 Polestar concept ahead of its public unveiling this weekend at a Swedish touring car championship event in Volvo’s home town of Gothenburg.

The baby-blue sedan developed by Volvo motorsport partner Polestar Racing is seen in shadowy images taken from a motor racing promotional video and posted on the Swedish company’s Facebook page.

The performance flagship looks set to follow in the wheel tracks of the Australia-only S60 Polestar special edition that caused a ripple through Volvo when it was launched in a limited run of just 50 units late last year.

Although details such as powertrain and performance figures remain under wraps, the new S60 Polestar might well make it into production as a BMW M3/Audi RS5 fighter globally.

Volvo says it will seek customer feedback on the concept before making a decision on its production future.

The S60 Polestar would sit above the flagship S60 T6 R-Design, which packs 224kW of power and 440Nm of torque from its turbocharged inline 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine.

In the previous S60 Polestar that was an initiative of Volvo Car Australia directly with Polestar Racing, the standard engine was boosted to 242kW and 480Nm, slicing the 0-100km/h acceleration time by 0.3 seconds, to 5.8 seconds.

The car, which made its debut at the 2011 Melbourne motor show, also featured lowered suspension, quad exhaust and special alloy wheels.

18 center imageFrom top: Volvo S60 race car, previous Australian Volvo S60 Polestar, Volvo C30 Polestar Performance Concept.

UK’s Autocar quotes Volvo insiders as saying the engine in the new S60 Polestar will develop 372kW (500hp), giving rise to speculation the car might revive the Yamaha-sourced 4.4-litre V8 from the XC90.

However, that seems to fly in the face of Volvo’s stated plan to go all-four-cylinder across its range.

Autocar also speculates that the S60 Polestar will have a Haldex all-wheel-drive system using special high-performance differentials from the only previous factory-Polestar collaboration at head office level, the 300kW C30 Polestar Performance Concept.

That vehicle was powered by a 300kW version of Volvo’s acclaimed T5 five-cylinder engine with a bigger turbo and intercooler, lumpier inlet camshaft and other tweaks borrowed from Polestar’s works race car program.

Also clad in baby blue paintwork, the C30 Polestar that was revealed in Sweden in April 2010 never made it into production, much to the chagrin of cashed-up Volvo fans.

This time, hopes are higher that the S60 version will make the cut.

According to Volvo Car Australia, the Polestar crew watched with great interest how the Australian project was received.

“Taking this thinking a step further, (Polestar) has developed the hardcore S60 Polestar performance concept car,” VCA said in a media release.

Polestar marketing director Hans Baath said the vehicle was a spin-off from its work evaluating and developing the S60 for racing.

“Whether there will be more cars built is an open question,” he said. “First of all we want to get feedback on this first prototype.” Polestar has co-operated with Volvo since 1996 and has successfully raced five different Volvo models starting with the 850.

Last year, Volvo switched its race-car entry in Sweden’s TTA Racing Elite League from the C30 to the S60, causing Polestar to evaluate the production version ahead of its race program. The S60 Polestar is said to have emerged from that research.

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