Volvo’s entry will take place in 2014 and will be aided by the Swedish automaker’s motorsport division and new performance partner Polestar. The fellow Swedish firm already races Volvo models in various competitions in Europe and has just launched a new S60 Polestar performance sedan in the Australian market.
It should come as no surprise then that Volvo and Polestar’s choice of vehicle for V8 Supercars will be the S60. The cars will be racing under the banner of Volvo Polestar Racing and will run in partnership with existing team Garry Rogers Motorsport, which currently races Holden Commodore sedans.
Volvo Polestar Racing will have two S60 sedans on the grid next year. At this point, you may be wondering how the S60, which doesn’t come with a V-8 engine, can compete in a series called V8 Supercars.
The reason is due to the series’ new Car of the Future regulations, which call for a single ‘control’ chassis to be used by all teams. Engines and styling, however, are unique and don't have to be featured in a production model. Rear-wheel drive is also standard.
Polestar will produce the V-8 engine and will also assist Garry Rogers Motorsport in the development of the car itself. Under the regulations, the engine must displace no more than 5.0 liters and have an rpm limit of between 7,000 and 7,500 revs. Peak output must be in the vicinity of 650 horsepower and the torque curve must be in parity with that of rival teams’ engines.
After being dominated for years by Holden and Ford, V8 Supercars in 2013 opened up the series to more brands. This saw Nissan with its Altima and a private entity racing a Mercedes-Benz quickly sign on, and at one point there was talk of Chrysler joining as well.
Volvo, of course, is no stranger to racing in Australia. The automaker has a rich motorsport heritage in the country, including winning its most famous race, the Bathurst 1000, 15 years ago this coming October. The automaker also won 1986's season of the Australian Touring Car Championship, the precursor to the current V8 Supercars series.