Australia's V8 Supercars Championship is a typically Aussie sporting code - rough tough, and sometimes a little too physical - usually contested by big locally-built Ford and Holden sedans with five-litre V8's, kicking out around 485kW.
Now Volvo has become the first luxury car manufacturer to field a factory team in Australia's premier circuit-racing series, as Volvo Polestar Racing officially threw down the gauntlet by driving an S60 Supercar racer across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and into the city's CBD to an official presentation overlooking the Sydney Opera House.
‘WORLD’S TOUGHEST TOURING-CAR SERIES’
Volvo Car Australia managing director Matt Braid was joined by drivers Scott McLaughlin and Robert Dahlgren, team principal Garry Rogers and Polestar owner Christian Dahl to present the race car to the media.
Braid said: "This is an historic day for Volvo in Australia. As the first luxury car manufacturer to enter V8 Supercars with a factory team, our S60 race car will be taking on the established teams in the world's toughest touring-car series."
The Volvo Polestar Racing S60 V8 Supercar has been built to V8 Supercars' 'Car of the Future' regulations, with 18-inch alloys, transxle gearbox and independent rear suspension.
NUTS AND BOLTS
It has a fuel-injected, 4989cc naturally aspirated DOHC Volvo V8 with four valves per cylinder and stick coils, running to 7500rpm and delivering an estimated 485kW to the rear wheels through an Albins ST6 six-speed sequential transaxle with integrated spool differential.
It runs double-wishbone front and independent rear suspension with Ohlins TTX dampers, AP ventilated disc brakes and Rimstock 18" alloys, weighs 1410kg ready to go (including the driver!), gets to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds and, given a long enough straight, will hit 300km/h at full tilt boogie.
Christian Dahl said: "Polestar has been Volvo's performance and motorsport partner since 1996, and has raced Volvos in the World Touring Car Championship, the European Touring Car Championship and, currently, the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship - now we're looking forward to the challenge of the V8 Supercar series."
Volvo has a rich heritage of motorsport in Australia dating back to the 1960s, including winning the 1986 Australian Touring Car Championship with Robbie Francevic in a 240T, and Australia's most famous race, the Bathurst 1000, in 1998 with Jim Richards and Rickard Rydell in an S40.