STEVE COLQUHOUN June 18, 2012
Ballistic S60 concept breaks cover from Volvo’s tuning arm.
Volvo’s high-performance arm, Polestar, has revealed the details of its hottest-ever road car, unleashing a turbocharged sedan with considerably more power than the go-fast benchmarks, BMW’s M3 and Mercedes-Benz’s C63 AMG .
The numbers make for exciting reading for performance enthusiasts with Polestar claiming the Volvo S60 concept car it has tuned will make a mighty 379kW and 575Nm – all from a turbocharged V6 engine.
To put those figures into some sort of context, consider that the BMW M3 with a 4.0-litre V8 makes 309kW and 400Nm, while the 6.2-litre V8-equipped Merc C63 outputs 336kW and 600Nm.
Polestar says it expects its S60 concept to sprint to 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds – that’s a sizeable 0.3s quicker than even the ballistic C63 Black Series coupe - with a top speed of more than 300km/h.
To get to those figures, Polestar took a standard T6 engine from the Volvo production line and modified the cylinder head, combustion chambers, inlet manifold and air intake, and added specially manufactured conrods, a Garrett turbo and a Ferrita stainless steel exhaust system.
A reinforced close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox teams with a Haldex all-wheel-drive system together with a rear limited-slip differential to help get the power to the ground.
The chassis has been lowered by 30mm and sits on Ohlins three-way shock absorbers, reinforced anti-roll bars, stabilising cross-members and reinforced control arms. The track – or distance from left wheel to right wheel – has been increased by 20mm at the front and 40mm at the rear, and it all sits on performance-oriented 265/30/R19 tyres fitted with six-piston Brembo callipers at the front.
Weighing 1640kg, the S60 concept also sports a lowered front splitter and large rear-mounted spoiler to reduce high-speed lift, plus a carbon-fibre diffuser.
Polestar is Volvo’s racing arm in Europe but has also dabbled in warmed-over road cars before, with a tickled S60 already available here.
The tuning company’s factory racing driver, Robert Dahlgren, says the standard S60 provided a good starting point for Polestar’s wild concept.
“To me the Volvo S60 is a very well sorted car from start. In our concept car we have developed chassis, engine and transmission just like we want it, and the result is a huge leap forward in terms of handling and performance,” he says.
“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 S60 Polestar concept has been constructed as a one-off project for an unnamed client but Polestar says it may initiate a small run of the cars, depending on the market’s response to it.
Polestar founder and chief executive, Christian Dahl, says the company is open to expanding its off-track operations.
“Polestar’s heart and soul is motorsport and our main focus is to deliver the absolute best results for Volvo on the track,” he says.
“But over the years we have also seen a significant increase in demand for Volvo performance cars and parts and naturally we want to respond to this.”