Volvo is gearing up for the start of the 2016 World Touring Car Championship with its new S60 Polestar TC1. Weighing in at just 1,100 kg (2,425 lb) and producing over 400 hp (298 kW) from its 1.6-liter Drive-E engine, the Polestar TC1 will form the base for Volvo's charge at claiming WTCC glory.
If the S60's engine sounds a little bit mundane, that's because it is based on the engine from a base, road-going Volvo. In the case of the Polestar TC1, that turbocharged 1.6-liter engine is pumping out 400 hp (298 kW), with the redline set at a lofty 8,500 rpm. All that grunt is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox.
The whole package sits on MacPherson struts front and rear, and as is the case with Polestar's road cars, the racing S60 is fitted with adjustable Öhlins dampers, which keep the 18-inch wheels in check during the rough and tumble around Europe and Asia's toughest circuits.
It might have an impressive history in Touring Car Racing, but Volvo is not setting its expectations too high ahead of the 2016 WTCC Season. According to Polestar's Head of Motorsport, Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, the team is focusing on reliability.
"Our purpose with this programme is to become World Champions," Schedvin said, "but this year is about following a specific plan to learn, with high discipline required from the drivers, engineers and the entire team in order for the competitiveness not to take over. "
Volvo has regularly competed in the British Touring Car Championship and Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, but has only competed in the WTCC once previously, in 2011, where it failed to place. It will be looking to improve when the WTCC kicks off at Circuit Paul Ricard on the 1st of April, before the series moves to Slovakia two weeks later.