The Volvo C30 Polestar Concept prototype made its debut at the Gothenburg Motor Show. The Volvo C30 Polestar Concept is a 400bhp, all-wheel-drive mini-monster built by Volvo’s official Swedish race outfit. Developed by the same team responsible for Volvo’s entry in the Swedish Touring Car Championship, the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept is either a bit of a tease from the company behind Volvo’s Swedish Touring Car effort or an early look at a new direction for the brand’s faster products after the recent divorce from Ford.
While that name might not telegraph the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept intentions, these vital statistics will: 399bhp, four-wheel drive and 0-62mph in 4.6secs. Polestar was given free reign to draw on their experience in developing successful Volvo touring car championship vehicles but in the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept case without being hampered by the restrictions of race regulation specs.
The Volvo C30 Polestar Concept uses the 2.5-litre turbo five-pot already found in the T5 (and the Focus ST and RS), but heavily revised and fitted with a larger turbocharger to achieve that 400bhp output. It’s fast enough off the line, but slamming the pedal wakes up the turbo and the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept almost instantly teleports forward. Polestar claims the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds; they reckon a full-bore test would see it go close to four seconds flat.
The Volvo C30 Polestar Concept will lap the test track quicker than an Evo X and within a few seconds of Volvo’s C30 touring car. The banzai ECU of the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept engine gives it a relatively narrow power band, but once the turbo spins up it delivers impressively forceful acceleration that feels more than a match for the brash claims made by the spec sheet.
The Volvo C30 Polestar Concept borrows Volvo’s tried-and-tested four-wheel-drive system, but Polestar has worked over the differential to give the car a much more rear-wheel-drive flavor. There’s masses of grip, but the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept can be coaxed into gentle over steer if you stamp on the brakes on the way into a corner.
On the handling side of the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept, there are new Ohlins springs and dampers, a more responsive steering rack, an all round 235/35 Pirelli P Zeros and the 380mm Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers up front and 330mm discs with four-piston calipers out back.
Volvo C30 Polestar driven
Competitors Volvo C30 Polestar Concept
The Volvo C30 Polestar Concept styling would get an aftermarket fan fluttering, with an aggressive body kit, black 19-in alloys, plus an interior with Polestar blue dials and acres of dark suede finish stretched over the Recaro seats and steering wheel. In essence the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept is a fantasy hot hatch, built from an enthusiastic raid on the corporate parts bin and with performance intended to show up rivals – including that of the Focus RS.
What it does show is that the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept is serious about becoming Volvo’s equivalent to Renault Sport, or even BMW’s M-Division. And on the evidence of this Volvo C30 Polestar Concept and newly-divorced Volvo’s clear desire to add some excitement to its brand, that would probably be a good thing. The Volvo C30 Polestar Concept cost more than $200,000, but Volvo says it won’t ever be put into production.
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