Volvo’s sudden impact
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.