2014 Volvo V40 D2 diesel - UK first driveEnlarge Photo
Swedish tuning firm Polestar needs very little introduction. It takes sensible Volvos, paints them an eye-searing shade of blue, and makes them very brisk indeed. It's managed to turn the S60 sedan and V60 wagon into proper drivers cars, and already taken victory in Australia's V-8 Supercars series.
The prospect of a Polestar-tuned V40 hatchback then is quite an appealing one—and Auto Express suggests such a model might be on the way. The potential V40 Polestar would be expected to rival the upcoming Ford Focus RS—an even higher-performance version of the ST—and could produce as much as 315 horsepower courtesy of Volvo's all new turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder powerplant. That engine will first see service in the upcoming XC90 plug-in hybrid, but it would turn the much smaller V40 into quite the weapon.
It isn't clear whether a Polestar V40 would send its power to the front wheels, or all four. Either is possible—300-plus horsepower outputs are no longer beyond the remit of front-driven cars, but Volvo's V40 Cross Country model shows that a Haldex all-wheel drive system can be squeezed beneath the V40's compact frame. With either layout, a 0-60 mph time of under six seconds and 155 mph limited top speed would be a given. The larger, heavier V60 Polestar manages times in the under-five second range with 350 horsepower, so an all-wheel drive V40 could potentially match it.
Specification would likely match that of the bigger Polestar too. The V60 uses huge floating Brembo brakes, adjustable Ohlins shocks, a front strut tower brace and much stiffer springs to turn it from comfortable grocery-getter to track-ready wagon. The only sticking point is price: The V60 Polestar is hugely expensive in terms of bang-per-buck, and in Europe, high-end V40s with a few options installed already get close to the price of bona-fide performance cars like the BMW M235i. Still, that bright blue paint is mighty appealing...