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Polestar to unleash performance concept in Australia

Volvo S60 Polestar concept is more than a show car - and we will get it first

10 Apr 2013

AUSTRALIA is about to become the proving ground for one of the most exciting Volvo cars the world has ever seen.

Polestar, Volvo’s motorsport partner, has let slip that a road-going version of the tyre-shredding, force-fed firebrand S60 Polestar Concept will be on sale in Australia, possibly as early as July, before a potential worldwide introduction later in the year.

A Volvo insider told GoAuto that while the concept car spits out 378kW of power - almost as much as a 5.0-litre twin-turbo V8-engined Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG - and 575Nm of torque, the Australian version would “turn the dial back from 11”, but still leave room for some big numbers.

The $75,490 R-design Polestar version of the S60 already on sale in Australia produces 242kW of power and 480Nm of torque to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

While it makes the 0-100kmh sprint in only 5.8secs, the concept car covers the same ground in only 3.9.

Polestar broke all the rules to trick up the S60 concept vehicle for its 2012 reveal, extracting as much performance out of the vehicle as current technology allows.

The automatic gearbox of the more pedestrian Polestar is out, replaced with a driver-focussed six-speed manual version, while the rear axle includes an electronic differential lock to help with roadholding.

As well as allowing the beefed-up engine to breathe more freely and strapping on a larger Garret turbocharger to the stainless steel exhaust system, the chassis has been lowered by 30mm, widened by 20mm and reinforced.

The concept car’s suspension was tuned up with Ohlins performance parts, and the Haldex all-wheel-drive system was tuned to balance the Polestar’s performance.

A video released by Polestar yesterday shows a slow-motion video of a close-up of the Polestar S60 with the captions “limited edition” and “Soon in Australia”.

The S60 in the video appears to be wearing the same specialist 19-inch Polestar rims as the concept, as well as the same lower air dam that, in concept form, feeds cooling air into the big 380mm ventilated front discs, fitted with six-pot Brembo calipers.

The concept car is also more slippery through the air, with the front splitter sitting closer to the ground and the rear-mounted carbon-fibre diffuser and a larger rear spoiler helping to reduce lift up around the S60’s 300km/h-plus top speed.

Inside, there’s the regular Polestar seats boasting more bolstering, soft alcantara covers most of the contact surfaces to help with grip, and the centre console sits lower to help optimise gearshift ergonomics.

The price? It’s too early for Volvo to speculate, but with our guess at well north of $85,000 before on-road costs the limited-run S60 Polestar is potentially poised to become the most expensive Volvo on sale here.

Volvo is believed to be considering a global roll-out of the vehicle depending on how well the Polestar limited edition is received in Australia.

An unnamed buyer, said to be US showbiz giant and car enthusiast Jay Leno, has paid $US300,000 for the Polestar concept car shortly after its debut in Sweden.

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