Earlier this year, Volvo joined forces with Polestar to develop tuning packages for cars equipped with a fuel-sipping Drive-E engine. The first Volvo to get the new Polestar Performance Optimization treatment is the limited-edition V40 Carbon.
Buyers can choose from one of two engines, both of which have been tweaked using technology gleaned from Polestar’s numerous racing programs. Called D4, the entry-level unit is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel mill that makes 200 horsepower and a generous 324 foot-pounds of torque, increases of 16 and 30, respectively, over the standard model. The more expensive T5 packs a 2.0-liter gasoline-burning four-banger rated at 253 ponies and 295 foot-pounds of torque, figures that represent increases of 25 and 36, respectively, over a stock T5.
The Carbon stands out as the first Volvo fitted with a carbon fiber roof panel. Polestar has also added black model-specific 19-inch alloy wheels, mirror caps made out of carbon fiber and black exhaust tips, making the Carbon one of the most muscular-looking regular-production compacts Volvo has ever built. Inside, it gains red seat belts and a sprinkling of carbon fiber trim.
Now, for the bad news. Only 343 examples of the V40 Carbon will be built, and it will only be available in Finland, France, Japan, the Netherlands and Sweden. In other words, the Polestar-tuned hatchback will be an exceptionally rare sight even if you happen to live in a country that it’s sold in.
Volvo has not announced how much of a premium the Carbon will command over the standard V40. However, the company promises it will release additional Polestar-massaged models by the end of next month.
Recent rumors indicate that Volvo and Polestar are considering building an even hotter version of the V40. If approved for production, the hot-rodded V40 will reportedly pack a 300-horsepower version of the T5’s 2.0-liter that will spin all four wheels via a Haldex-type all-wheel drive system. Comprehensive brake and suspension modifications will be on hand keep the cavalry in check.