As its name suggests, V8 Supercars requires cars powered by a V-8 engine. Since Volvo doesn’t offer a V-8 in its lineup anymore, the Swedish automaker turned to its motorsport partner Polestar to help develop a new eight-cylinder mill based on the 4.4-liter B8444S unit originally sourced from Yamaha and used in the XC90 SUV.
Regulations for V8 Supercars call for V-8 engines with a maximum displacement of 5.0 liters. The engine also must have an rpm limit of between 7,000 and 7,500 revs, an output of around 650 horsepower and a torque curve that’s in parity with rival units.
Development of the race engine began back in May. The first block was completed in late October and had its first run on the dyno in mid-November. The sound the engine made, according to Volvo, will be like nothing else currently in V8 Supercars.
With the engine now ready, the next step will be to fit the engine to the race car and continue pre-season development. All teams use a common control chassis but things like the engine and shape are unique and don't have to be featured on a production model. 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 Commodores in V8 Supercars.
The first race of the season will be the Clipsal 500 in the Australian city of Adelaide in early March, 2014.