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New Volvo C30 outruns Focus RS

2010-04-22 07:52
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Volvo
Model Polestar C30
Engine 2.5l five-cylinder turbo
Power 294kW
Torque 510Nm
Could a Volvo hot hatch outrun Ford's Focus RS? If it has a Polestar badge, it could. Easily.

You’ve probably never heard of Polestar. They’re a racing and vehicle tuning consultancy operating out of Sweden and specialise (unsurprisingly) in Volvo products.

Polestar has helped Volvo race 850, S40 and S60 series cars over the years. They also won the Swedish Touring Car Championship for Volvo last year, preparing a C30 hatchback the company developed from scratch.

Racecar heart, roadcar execution

To celebrate this victory, Polestar is set to unveil its C30 performance concept prototype at the Gothenburg Motor Show on Thursday.

This one-off C30 has been built to showcase what the Polestar race engineers and technicians can get up to with regards to road-going performance.

The result is a C30 which is stupidly quick.

In terms of styling, the Polestar C30 is quite restrained for hyperhatch. Beyond the baby-blue surfacing most of the aerodynamic trinkets are carried over air-flow management items from the C30 racecar, including the huge rear wing and front splitter.

Polestar has flared the fenders to accommodate the generously sized Pirelli P Zero 235/35 ZR19 rubber whilst an Öhlins damper and coil set at each wheel corner should shore up stability at speed. To guarantee more steering feel (and quicker responses from the helm) Polestar reconfigured the steering rack and reduced the ratio to 2.25.

This car won the Swedish Touring Car Championship last year. Forms the basis for Polestar’s mad C30 roadcar. Who said track racing had no tangible roadcar benefits?

Big power numbers

By far the car’s most impressive statistics are its engine output and they way it delivers power to the road.

Although the stock 2.5l five-cylinder turbocharged Volvo engine remains untouched in terms of swept capacity and configuration, is gains a larger turbo (serviced by a monumental intercooler) and trick internals.

All the engine’s key moving bits (pistons, conrods and camshafts) are machined to Polestar specifications and manage to boost power from 169- to 294kW. Peak rotational force swells from 320- to 510Nm.

To harness the epic increase in output numbers for its unique C30, Polestar optioned on an all-wheel drive system to deliver the power.

Swedish drivetrain specialist Haldex was consulted to split the power to both axles, with Quaife trick differentials then managing torque distribution at the front and rear wheels individually.

Scrubbing off speed are Brembo 380mm rotors with six-piston grabbers front and 330mm discs with four-piston callipers at the rear.

Just build it already

Polestar is not quoting performance figures just yet, but with 294kW and peerless mechanical traction this C30 should easily dip under five second bracket for the 0-100km/h benchmark sprint.

Unfortunately this Polestar C30 is set to remain only a showcar attraction for the time being, although...

Volvo's said an announcement concerning the Polestar C30's full specification (including performance numbers, transmission details) and its place in the company's portfolio will follow during this weekend's Gothenburg Motor Show.

If Volvo’s new owners Geely know what’s good for the brand’s image, it should perhaps investigate the possibility of limited edition production run of a homologated Polestar C30.


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