Volvo’s sud­den im­pact

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle News -

The Jan­dal boy has helped to fire up a new per­for­mance push by Volvo in Aus­tralia. When Scott McLaugh­lin told the world he ‘Gave it some jan­dal’ in a tor­rid bat­tle with Jamie Whin­cup at the Clip­sal 500, he in­jected new pas­sion – and a sur­pris­ing twist – into the Swedish com­pany’s ef­forts with its S60 Polestar.

Volvo be­lieves a string of Polestar mod­els will even­tu­ally give the com­pany some AMG and M-Power style mus­cle, not just in Aus­tralia but around the world.

The work be­gan last year with the ar­rival of a limited-edi­tion Polestar S60 with a tweaked 6-cylin­der en­gine, Oh­lins sus­pen­sion, big wheels and tyres, and the rest of the go-faster kit you ex­pect on a spe­cial ve­hi­cles ma­chine.

But Polestar made some big mis­takes on its $110,000 flag­ship, with brakes that faded badly on the press pre­view drive, no flappy pad­dles for the au­to­matic gear­box and seats that were more like liv­ing room arm­chairs than Re­caro rac­ing buck­ets.

But Volvo and Polestar have re­acted quickly to the crit­i­cism, land­ing a 2014 model in Fe­bru­ary even though there will be a 2015 model – not just for Aus­tralia, but eight other coun­tries – in Oc­to­ber this year.

It now has pad­dles, big Brembo brakes and seats with proper cor­ner­ing sup­port.

“The team has lis­tened to the feed­back. It’s a more re­fined, com­plete ve­hi­cle,” says Hans Baath of Polestar Volvo.

The tim­ing of the 2014 model – which be­comes a full-time mem­ber of the Volvo lineup, not just a limited edi­tion – could not be bet­ter, as it ar­rived the day af­ter Clip­sal.

With McLaugh­lin putting Volvo on the podium for the first time with its V8-pow­ered S60, a re­sult backed by a break­through vic­tory at the Aus­tralian Grand Prix, ev­ery­one is talk­ing about Volvo. And the jan­dal.

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