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Volvo joins V8 supercars

Pole position: Volvo will become the fifth car-maker represented on the Australian V8 Supercars starting grid from season 2014.

Factory-backed Volvo Polestar Racing to start two S60s on 2014 V8 Supercar grid

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Volvo logo17 Jun 2013

VOLVO will line up in next year’s V8 Supercars competition, fielding a pair of S60-based racecars wearing Garry Rogers Motorsport colours.

The Swedish car-maker's Australian arm today revealed it would fund a pair of S60-based V8 racecars from next year, in collaboration with Sweden-based racing partner Polestar and Melbourne-based Garry Rogers Motorsport, which will end its long collaboration with Holden.

The team will be called Volvo Polestar Racing, and will hit the track a year after a factory-backed Nissan team and a privateer Mercedes-Benz joined the series, moving it beyond traditional rivals Holden and Ford.

The V8 Supercar Championship’s new Car of the Future architecture was designed to accommodate a wider spread of brands than the traditional local car-makers.

The announcement comes in conjunction with the local media launch of the company’s limited-edition S60 Polestar, a performance sedan rival to the likes of the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.

The company hopes the launch of a factory-backed racing team will, along with its toe-in-the-water exercise with the S60 Polestar road car, change perceptions of its entire range, most importantly in the BMW 3 Series-rivalling S60 range.

Volvo has previously said Australia was to be used as a “test bed” for the performance-honed S60 Polestar ahead of a potentially wider global roll-out, as the company seeks to put old images of the brand as safe but perhaps unexciting to bed.

But while the racecar will be a rear-drive, V8-powered machine, the S60 road range is a front- or all-wheel-drive car powered by either four- or six-cylinder petrol and diesel powerplants.

Volvo is no stranger to Australian motorsport, having won to Australian Touring Car Championship in 1986, and the Bathurst 1000 in 1998 with its S40-based touring car.

Details are still relatively scarce, but Polestar chief executive Christian Dahl said the S60’s race engine – currently under development in Sweden – would be a derivation of the well-known Yamaha V8 previously used in the S80 and XC90 SUV.

Volvo globally has made a pledge to move towards a four-cylinder only range in its road cars later this decade.

Garry Rogers Motorsport owner Garry Rogers said he hoped to have racecars testing on the track by December this year.

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