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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