Volvo’s 501bhp S60 Polestar celebrates a new era of Swedish touring cars

S60-Polestar

Just over a month after our review of Volvo’s hottest production model, V60 T6 AWD R-Design Polestar, the folks at Polestar look to have answered all of our criticisms with their new S60 Polestar, previewed at the Gothenburg City Arena race last weekend.

Following on from the Volvo C30 Polestar PCP (Performance Concept Project), which was built to celebrate Volvo’s double victory in 2009 Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC), the S60 Polestar has been built in parallel with Volvo’s entry in the TTA – Racing Elite League, a new Swedish racing series similar in its ethos to the DTM.

But while the S60 TTA race car uses a common space frame chassis, carbon fibre body and 420bhp rear-wheel drive V6 hybrid engine, the S60 Polestar is to a great extent based on standard Volvo S60 T6 components.

“The performance concept road-car is a spinoff of our work evaluating and developing the S60 for racing.” says Polestar Marketing Director Hans Bååth. “Whether there will be more cars built is an open question. First of all we want to get feedback on this first prototype.”

Christian Dahl, founder and CEO of Polestar, said “It’s a car developed with our own preferences in mind which, we from experience know, are shared by a group of active drivers.”

Whereas the production T6 Polestar makes do with a mere 329bhp and 355lb-ft of torque from its turbocharged inline-six, the S60 Polestar politely kicks its sibling aside with 501bhp and 424lb-ft. That’s enough to propel the Polestar from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds and reach a terminal velocity of 186mph (300 km/h).

The T6 engine has been tuned by fitting a Garret 3171 turbo, together with strengthened con-rods, modified inlet manifold and air intake, modified cylinder head and combustion chambers and a 3.5” stainless steel exhaust system.

Instead of the T6’s standard auto box, the S60 Polestar receives a close ratio 6-speed manual box, with a Haldex E-LSD at the rear and an uprated all-wheel drive system to handle the extra torque.

The S60 Polestar isn’t just about straight-line performance – the T6 chassis receives a custom Öhlins suspension, which is lowered by 30mm, while the front and rear tracks have been widened by 20mm and 40mm respectively and reinforced to handle the additional cornering load. 265/30R19 tyres are fitted around Polestar-Brembo 6 piston callipers at the front with 380mm ventilated discs. The production car’s 302mm Polestar-Volvo callipers and ventilated discs remain at the rear.

Robert Dahlgren, Volvo Polestar racing driver, said “..to me the Volvo S60 is a very well sorted car from the start. In our concept car we have developed the chassis, engine and transmission just like we want it, and the result is a huge leap forward in terms of handling and performance. It is, by far, the most impressive street Volvo I’ve ever driven. But I must also say that the genuine Volvo feeling is still there.”

The official word is Volvo and Polestar would like to produce the S60 Polestar, if there is sufficient customer demand, so let’s hope this becomes the first Polestar developed Volvo to finally reach the road.

Volvos new S60 race car for the Swedish TTA – Racing Elite Series

The Touring Car Team Association (TTA) was formed by the four biggest racing teams in Sweden – Flash Engineering (Saab 9-3), Volvo PolestarRacing (Volvo S60), BMW Dealer Team WestCoast Racing (BMW 3 Series) and Brovallen Design (Citroen C5).

The aim of the series, much like the revised 2012 DTM is to provide a format for teams to race using standardised components and thereby contain the huge development budgets normally associated with touring car racing. The TTA Racing Elite Series is a silhouette format, with carbon fibre bodies fitted onto a standard spaceframe chassis and a mid-mounted 420bhp rear-wheel drive V6 hybrid powerplant.

The kits are supplied by the French company Solution-F, who also provide the engine (in partnership with Nismo Japan). A KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) hybrid system gives a nod to environmental fans while creating more overtaking opportunities, just like in Formula 1.

Volvo Polestar runs two teams, Polestar Racing and Black R.