When you think about famous tuning houses, names like Alpina, AMG, Hennessey, and Shelby all come to mind. Polestar and Volvo, though … not so much.
After all, Volvo is an automaker renowned for its focus on safety and livability rather than performance. So it’s odd to think that it has a longstanding relationship with a company as mad as Polestar. This little performance firm, though, is not to be overlooked.
Today Polestar released the details of its new V8 race engine destined to power two Volvo S60’s in Australia’s V8 Supercar competition and all I can say is … wow.
Polestar started with the B8444S V8 that consumers have been getting in the Volvo XC90 and S80 for years. That may not sound like an exciting start, but this engine has a dark past. Built by Yamaha in Japan this engine has already served as the basis for some serious performance, notably the Noble M600 supercar. But what Polestar has done is even more impressive.
The block, with its unique 60 degree cylinder banks remains unchanged except for its 5.0 liter displacement. But everything else is new, the engine is fitted with eight throttle bodies, carbon fiber valve covers, and an exhaust manifold that glows with the red heat of Hades when the engine is revved up to 7500 rpm redline.
So what kind of power is this good for? 650 horsepower which is enough grind granite mountains into powder, or take a safe and sane S60 sedan at race speeds around Australia’s most aggressive race tracks.
But forget all of that. What really makes this engine nuts is the sound. Most racecars these days sound like screaming banshees, but even at 7500 rpm this engine sounds more like a 1960s Dodge Charger than an F1 car. It may be pretty damn different from any Volvo I have ever heard, but it sounds fantastic. And it will fit right in the mad world of down under V8 Supercar racing.