Most people are unlikely to associate Volvo with performance, but the Swedish automaker has offered several notable sporty variants of its regular lineup in the past under the R performance range.
The S60 R, for example, was introduced in 2003 and boasted a 300 horsepower turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission and Haldex all-wheel drive system.
Today, Volvo leaves the performance tuning of its vehicles up to Polestar, the same Swedish firm responsible for the automaker's racing efforts and more recently its dealer-installed ECU tuning software
As television personality and avid car collector Jay Leno recently found out in his online series, Jay Leno’s Garage
, Polestar has significant plans for future high-performance models from Volvo, and as a preview of what’s to come one need only look at 2010’s Volvo C30 Polestar racing concept
Leno was given a chance to drive the C30 Polestar as well interview Polestar chief Hans Baath. As you may have guessed, after driving a hot hatch with 451 horsepower under the hood, a trick all-wheel drive system and a curb weight of around 3,000 pounds, he comes away quite impressed at the end.