Currently producing factory-approved software upgrades for new or used Volvo cars around the world, Swedish company Polestar has far more ambitious plans.
In addition to running Volvo’s official motorsport programs, it also wants to build complete cars.
Starting in 2010, it built the C30 Polestar concept, based on the C30 T5 R Design, it boasts a 450hp turbo engine and an all-wheel drive system sourced from existing Volvo products.
This car was perhaps more of a concept than its market aspirations now allow, so it turned its attention to the S60 model and today unveiled the S60 Polestar at the Gothenburg CityArena – a Swedish city center racetrack owned and operated by Polestar to showcase Volvo products within a few miles of the carmaker’s HQ.
As a racing team, Polestar was also showcasing its latest Volvo S60 TTA racecar, using a common engine and chassis but clad in carbon bodywork. It entered and won the third round of the TT series at CityArena just hours after the new S60 was unveiled.
We’ll have a full feature on the S60 concept in a future issue of european car magazine since we are one of the only magazines to be given an opportunity to drive this 500hp machine.
Based on the original T6 inline six-cylinder engine, a larger Garrett turbo with custom cylinder head, inlet manifold, exhaust header and downpipes have boosted the power considerably.
It’s put to the ground by a modified Haldex system with rear E-diff through a set of enormous 265/30 R19 Michelin Pilot Sport tires. These were mounted on a set of 19x9.5” Polestar wheels built by Braid in Spain. With a deep, concave offset, it’s hinted that we could expect to see this design as a future offering for all Volvo cars from Polestar in the future.
The engine was fired for the large crowd of Volvo employees and fans in the Gothenburg crowd and the howling exhaust had pulses racing. It’s also rumored to be close to production, although noise levels will inevitably be quieter on a cat-back version.
Those wide tires were accommodated by custom fenders that extend the track 20mm at each corner. They were built in steel at the rear and the rear doors reskinned to flow int them before the body was galvanized on the S60 production line at the Volvo plant. Before being painted in Polestar's signature cyan blue, a carbon fiber front spoiler, front fenders, rear diffuser and trunk spoiler were added to the car. These had been tested in Volvo’s wind tunnel to assure stability at the predicted 180mph+.
The spoilers were manufactured from carbon fiber for both strength and lightness, using the team’s racing expertise to ensure integrity. Each part is painted either body color or gloss black, with none of the carbon weave exposed.
The transmission uses a closer gear set to improve 0-62mph acceleration to 3.9sec, as well as making it stronger to withstand the 420 lb-ft of torque at 5500rpm.
The impressive brakes use Polestar-branded six-piston Brembo front calipers with 380mm drilled discs, 302mm on the rear. They were part of a package specified by Polestar’s team of professional drivers drafted in to assist with the concept’s development. It was their job to ensure the car handled like a racer without sacrificing its Volvo character.
Although a price hasn’t been announced, Polestar will be building a limited run of these S60 models. In fact, the car on display was already sold to a cooperative but anonymous owner.
In light of the large number of inquiries for the C30 concept, Polestar took the decision to sell these cars to the public to both satisfy demand as well as prove their production-ready theories. Enough parts are currently available to construct ten cars, but it’s unlikely there would be more than that in order to maintain exclusivity. The expected price will also help to ensure you don’t see many on the road.
“Polestar’s heart and soul is motorsport, and our main focus is to deliver the absolute best results for Volvo on the track,” said Christian Dahl. “But over the years we’ve also seen a significant increase in demand for Volvo performance cars and parts, so naturally we wanted to respond to this…” the S60 concept is the first stage of what whispers suggest will be a range of hardware to accompany the existing the software options for Volvo’s range of T5 and T6 turbo engines. Expect to see wheels, suspension, exhausts and possibly brake upgrades available from your Polestar dealer before too long, if our hunch proves correct.
Volvo T6 (B6304T4) inline-six
Modified head and combustion chambers, inlet manifold and air intake, special connecting rods, Garrett 3171 turbo, 3.5” Ferrita stainless steel exhaust system
Reinforced M66C (close-ratio) manual six-speed transmission, Haldex Gen4 XWD and E-LSD in rear
19x9.5” Polestar wheels with 265/30 R19 Micehlin Pilot Sport tires, Öhlins three-way adjustable shock absorbers, 30mm lowering springs, front and rear anti-roll bars, track width increased 20mm front and 40mm rear, Polestar-tuned EHPAS steering, stabilizing cross-members, modified control-arms with uniball front and rear, reinforced subframe and control-arm bushings, modified engine mounts
Total weight 3614 lb with optimized distribution
Polestar/Brembo six-piston front calipers with 380mm discs, Polestar-Volvo rear calipers with 302mm discs
Carbon fiber front bumper and splitter, trunk spoiler, diffuser, front fenders and side skirts, 20mm wider steel rear fenders and rear door skins
Polestar seats, alcantara on steering wheel, shift knob and seats, center console lowered