We’ve already talked about how the Volvo C70 is one of the best values out there. It’s luxurious and practical – the C70 has earned awards from multiple automotive research companies:
- Vincentric’s 2012 Best Value in America
- IntelliChoice 2010 Best Overall Value Luxury Convertible class
- J.D. Power: Top-Ranked Model in its Class
Proving its overall value through trial with minimal error, the C70 is a vehicle that any everyday driver can thoroughly enjoy. However, what we normally don’t think about when we look at a Volvo is pure speed. Power. The essence of the vehicle and that thing that makes all of us giddy inside to feel the pull of the engine. Can an individual race with a Volvo?
Well, the C70 is a Sedan, so you’d be hard pressed to hit top speeds over a BMW with one. The truth is, it usually isn’t the car that defines a win on the drag strip – it’s the skill and knowledge of the driver, coupled with superbly crafted Volvo auto parts, that determines a victory. It often takes the perfect launch and correctly-timed shifting to win a drag race – and those skills can only come through experience.
So the C70 may not win any Grand Prix’s, but when Volvo unleashed the S60 at Global Tuner Grand Prix in Denver Colorado, the company found a win back in 2010. It wasn’t their first win, and two years later the same racing team would bring home another win using the c30 touring car. Impressive in retrospect, but the 2010 race took place on Laguna Seca, relevant because it is one of the only tracks in North America with lap times that are actually reported seriously by manufacturers and car journalists alike.
But Volvo didn’t stop after their wins in North America. After besting names like Ford and Mitsubishi, the company set its sights on an old winner’s podium determined to reclaim their number one spot. They are slated to race in Australia during the 2014 season, this time with a V8 supercar model S60 run by the Garry Rogers racing team. For the makers of Volvo, Australia represents something of a return to glory. 15 years ago, the company was able to claim top spot in the country’s Bathurst race.
Known as the Bathurst 1000, it is a grueling 1000 mile circuit that Australians refer to as “The Great Race.” A victory at Bathurst means, definitively, that you’ve done it as a car maker. A win in the great race showed durability, reliability and stamina. Manufacturers saw the win as something of a branding tool, no doubt part of what motivates the auto company to proudly market genuine Volvo parts year after year.
The eEuroParts site notes that the S60 has a five-cylinder engine, among the other variable Volvo parts, capable of about 300 break horsepower from a stock model. Available in 5-speed manual or automatic, the car is relatively lightweight and has heavy boost. Not what some would call beastly out of the gate, but the Polestar model is based off of the long lineage of race cars from the same name. The racing edition will have an inline six-cylinder engine, with a larger turbo intercooler than its consumer cousin, and revamped racing exhaust for added power.
The Polestar hits 0-60 within 4.9 seconds–that’s comparable to the much vaunted 2009 Mitsubishi Evo from Top Gear (we all remember that beautiful comparison with the Subaru Imprezza). The question isn’t whether Volvo will be taken seriously as a motor car in a racing circuit. That answer has been proven time and time again. The question is whether or not Volvo’s show of power will be enough to climb the podium to number one.