Last year european car Magazine was among the first in the world to drive the 500hp Volvo S60 Polestar, and we said it was groundbreaking for the Swedish company.
Although not an official Volvo car, it was built by the manufacturer's official Motorsport and Performance partner as an indication of what was possible with the latest Volvo platforms.
The S60 followed an earlier C30 Polestar concept that boasted all-wheel drive and about 450hp. However, the S60 Polestar upped the game with a 500hp turbo motor and a motorsport-bred AWD chassis. This was Volvo's answer to the M3, RS4 and C63 AMG if it wanted to put such a car into production.
Unfortunately, Volvo Cars hasn't officially followed through as yet, but Polestar has announced the first production version for the Australian market through the Volvo Cars Australia network. It gets a milder 350hp motor, but is still the most powerful Volvo currently available.
"We built a car that we, as enthusiasts, want to drive," said Christian Dahl from Polestar. "It is a driver's car, bringing out the very best of the already competent Volvo S60 chassis with our experience and technology in motorsport.
We received a fantastic response to our Volvo C30 and S60 Polestar concept cars, so we are happy to introduce our first production car to the Australian market. This is an important step forward for Polestar; one that promises an exciting future."
The new car will be built as a limited production run exclusively for the Australian market as a pilot project. The first cars will be delivered to customers in late June 2013, with the possibility of sales in other countries under investigation.
"The Australian market for performance cars is, and has always been, strong," said Matt Braid from Volvo Cars Australia.
The Volvo S60 Polestar shares technology from the Polestar racecars, like Öhlins dampers, high performance brakes and an extensively developed chassis.
A new aerodynamic package was also developed, including a front splitter, rear wing and diffuser. These parts were developed in the Volvo Car Group wind tunnel in collaboration with the Volvo Research and Development team.
The six-cylinder Volvo T6 turbo engine has been tuned by Polestar, fitted with a bigger turbo, new intercooler, revised software and exhaust to produce 350hp and 370 lb-ft of torque. This allows it to accelerates 0-62mph in just 4.9sec, via the Polestar-tuned six-speed automatic transmission with launch control and a Polestar-tuned Haldex 4WD system. The car will be limited to a top speed of 155mph.