2012 Volvo S60 R-Design – Click above for high-res image gallery

Volvo is known for many things. Well, safety technology, mostly, but not so much performance. Sure, the Swedish automaker has tricked out the occasional sport wagon, but muscle is not really its forte. So where did the extra 25 horsepower and 29 pound-feet of torque come from when Volvo upgraded the latest R-Design S60 and XC60 models? Polestar, if the latest reports are to be believed.

The Volvo tuner, as you may recall, is responsible for Volvo's works touring car racing effort, and also gave us that rip-roarin' baby-blue C30 concept last year. Pretty Swede stuff, if you ask us. And according to Swedespeed.com, it was to Polestar that Volvo turned for those modest, but notable performance upgrades on its R-Design models.

What's more is that Volvo is reportedly looking into ways to offer Polestar performance upgrades to existing customers – say, owners of the pre-boosted S60 and XC60 R-Design, for example – and potentially offering more upgrades on future models. We wouldn't go so far as to suggest that Polestar is becoming to Volvo what AMG is to Mercedes-Benz or the M division is to BMW, but Brabus and Alpina – that is to say, quasi-works-endorsed tuning houses – could be models to look to here.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Nick Allain
      • 3 Years Ago
      This warms my cold heart like the grinch that stole christmas.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's never going to happen, but I would lust for a performance Volvo. -low-displacement, turbocharged V8 in the S60 or one of their wagons? -the 2.5L in the C30 cranked up to 350hp? We can all dream.
      Doctor Nick
      • 3 Years Ago
      1) Volvo just confirmed last week that they are satisfied with sales volumes for the C70 and C30 and they are being retained in the U.S. market, unlike the S40 and V50. So the C30 isn't going away. 2) Tired of the boohooing about Volvo not focusing on wagons in the US anymore. Volvo cut the wagon line-up in the US to just the XC70 for the plain simple reason that NO ONE IN THE US BUYS WAGONS ANYMORE (you can thank the minivan and the SUV for that). That's not being idiots, that's business. Volvo makes its money by actually selling cars, not by quixotically sticking to outdated stereotypes people who aren't buying Volvos have about them. Just 434 V50s sold thru the first five months of the year. 434. In other words, jack-squat. People here aren't buying them, so why bother selling them? Volvo's best-selling model in the US is the XC90. Americans don't buy wagons, they buy crossover SUVs. 3) Polestar already sells performance upgrades in Europe which are factory-authorized, dealer-installed, and warranty-friendly. They offer a software tweak for the C30 that's good for an extra 20hp and 37lb-ft with no decrease in MPG and full Volvo Original Warranty coverage. For what it's worth, I sent a note to Polestar in January asking when they'd have stuff available in the States, and someone named Magnus Skeppstedt responded "Hopefully Polestar Performance will be available in the US during 2011." So clearly Polestar wants it to happen and they're trying to get Volvo to make it so...
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is why good quality is no longer in the market,. you was able get over 1million miles out of a B18 Volvo engine. Too bad Corporations got greedy rather than giving customers good quality for their $$. Suck. Reagan, Bush, and his company screwed Americans. The good ole's cowboys whipped us
      • 3 Years Ago
      Meanwhile volvo wont sell wagons in the US. This company is run by idiots.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have the pre-release tune on my S60 and it's absolutely fantastic. Well worth it, making an amazing performing engine that much better. http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?159068-T6-Polestar-Software-Initial-Impressions http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?154319-v2
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really wish they weren't going to drop the little hatchback, the C30. I think it's a hot design. Tweaks like this could really help it. Why not give it another few years to let it become established?
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's too expensive for what it is. With any options, it approaches 30 grand, which is just insane. It's a shame, too, because I wish there were more two door hatches on the market.
          • 3 Years Ago
          Go price a loaded Ford Focus and get back to us.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Since they're taking orders for the 2012 model, it's not likely to be dropped this year... Don't trust the "analysts". There's still rumors of a 5 door version, but I'm not sure I believe that.
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