Volvo + Polestar = Enhanced Performance
Text by Cheryl Tay
Photos courtesy of Volvo
The thing about power optimisation packages is how it isn’t something tangible that you can see or touch. That is one of the challenges that Magnus Skeppstedt, R&D director at Polestar Performance faces.
Polestar Performance is Volvo Cars’ official motorsport and performance partner and exclusive supplier of Volvo Cars’ authorised performance products. They offer performance upgrades for Volvo cars that are installed only by authorised Volvo retailers.
Skeppstedt said, “It is somehow difficult to talk to people about an ‘invisible product’. That’s why we recommend everybody to have a test drive to experience the enhanced driving performance. In general people are very focused on performance figures, but we know that a test drive can be more informative than a thousand words.”
With an original Volvo warranty, the Polestar optimised car will have a greatly enhanced driving experience with increased power, torque and throttle response. Most importantly, there will be no change in certified fuel consumption and emission values. All measured data are validated and approved by Volvo. Polestar Performance packages are available for the V40, S80, S60, V60, XC60 and XC90.
Volvo and Polestar Performance first collaborated in 1996 for racing cars, with the Volvo 850 Supertouring. The work for road cars only started in 2005 and the first Polestar optimisation programme was launched in 2009. That was when Skeppstedt started working for Polestar. As the first employee for that project, he was handling almost everything. Today, he is responsible for product planning and development, as well as market expansion.
One of the greatest challenges that Skeppstedt encounters in his work is going from a product offer with SW engine optimisations to delivering the first road car.
Finally, the first production road car engineered by Polestar is being launched in June 2013. Developed from 17 years of motorsport experience and derived from the 508bhp Volvo S60 Polestar Concept Car, the Volvo S60 Polestar is released in Australia first and there are plans for it to be introduced to other markets progressively.
“Response for the S60 Polestar has been overwhelming actually. Many customers have been waiting for a car like this – a driver’s car,” said Skeppstedt who was in Singapore in May.
The six-cylinder turbo-charged Volvo T6 engine has been optimised by Polestar with a bigger turbo, new intercooler, revised engine mapping and racing exhaust to produce 350bhp and more than 500Nm.
It accelerates from zero to 100km/h in just 4.9 seconds via a Polestar-tuned six-speed automatic gearbox – that has a launch control system – and a Polestar-tuned Haldex 4WD system.
Extensive work was done on the development of the chassis, with thousands of kilometres covered during testing in Europe, from the autobahns in Germany to the twisty roads of southern Spain and the freezing cold of northern Sweden. Volvo Polestar Racing driver Robert Dahlgren, a 33-year-old Swede who has been a Volvo factory racing driver for 10 years, has been an integral part of the development work.
Sharing technology from the Polestar racing cars like dampers from Öhlins, high capacity brakes and the highly-tuned chassis, the Volvo S60 Polestar also has a new aerodynamic package that includes a front splitter, rear wing and diffuser. All these have been tweaked and modified in the Volvo Car Group wind tunnel in collaboration with the Volvo R&D team.
On the motorsport side, Polestar is racing a local Swedish series today and the aim is to race in an international championship and win a World Championship with Volvo one day.
Technical Specifications – Volvo S60 Polestar
0-100 km/h 4.9 sec
Top speed 250 km/h – limited
6-cylinder inline T6 engine, 2953 cc
257kw (350bhp) @ 5700 rpm
500+Nm @ 2800-4750rpm
Max 6500 RPM
Polestar engine software
New Borg Warner turbo
2.5″ stainless full-flow exhaust system with 3.5″ tail pipes.
Polestar Öhlins, 2-way adjustable shock absorbers
60N/mm front, 65N/mm rear. (80% stiffer than stock)
Upgraded stabilizers front and rear
Upgraded rear tie blades
Upgraded top mount in front and rear
Upgraded toe link arms in rear
Strut brace with carbonfiber enforcement
235/40R19, Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Bespoke Polestar rims, 8×19″ ET51
1684kg – same as standard S60 T6 R-Design
AWF21 automatic gearbox
Modified transmission software for faster shifts and launch control
Modified AWD software for more rear torque
336×29 mm ventilated discs
Jurid 958 performance brake pad
302×22 mm ventilated discs
HP2000 Brembo performance brake pads
New Polestar front splitter corners
New Polestar rear spoiler
New Polestar diffuser
Polestar door trims
Polestar badge on front grille
Polestar badge on boot
Polestar gear shift knob
Polestar badge on engine
Polestar limited edition plate on door sills and steering wheel
Black outside mirror covers