The Swedish version of Auto Motor und Sport went to the track with one hometown favorite and two over-the-sea gorillas: a Volvo S60 Polestar prototype, BMW M3 and Audi RS4 Avant. The Volvo puts out 508 horsepower from its inline six-cylinder to the ground through a Haldex all-wheel drive system, the BMW M3 grunts out 414 hp to the rear wheels from a 4.4-liter V8 and the RS4 has a 4.2-liter V8 putting down 414 horses via Quattro AWD. The performance numbers to make this even more clear: 0-60 in the RS4 takes 4.7 seconds, in the M3 4.6 seconds, and in the S60 Polestar, just 3.9 seconds.

The mag calls the S60 Polestar "a hard slap in the face to the Germans," but through the kerbs is where the test of man and metal is made. No regular journo affair, Auto Motor und Sport got this year's Swedish Touring Car Championship winner to drive all three on a hot lap at the Gothenburg City Arena circuit to keep things fair (well, relatively anyway – the pro shoe drives a Volvo). Timing duties were handled by a guy with an iPhone, so final stats are approximate. And it's important to note that if/when the Volvo reaches production, it will likely have a price tag that dwarfs those of its German rivals – reports suggest it could cost upwards of $155,000.

No matter, it's thoroughly fun getting there, and you'll find the action, the winner and awesome exhaust notes in the subtitled video below.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      Matt
      • 2 Years Ago
      People are so quick to dismiss cars, especially those that challenge the long time, establish players. I say, hell, the more the merrier! Sure the Polestar is $155k but segment-wise the M3 and RS4 are its competitors. If Volvo had made the S60 Polestar sooner and planned it as a production model then you'd see it closer to the other two in price. For now they built a one off for a customer and then said they had parts for ten cars total and guess what? People put money down to have those extra parts turned into cars. I bet if they went full production on it, you would see it at 70-80k.
      MikeInNC
      • 2 Years Ago
      The price of this car would not be $150k if done by a large manufacturer. For a prototype like this they do a lot of testing, removing, refitting, testing..etc. They could cut 1/4 of the price just by eliminating all the part swapping and test modifications. Volvo could produce this car for the same price as the M3 and RS4 if everything was planned and executed in one step and with economies of scale (global sales). I guarantee you the first M3 prototype was a lot more expensive. Comparing that price with a production car price is just not thinking through the actual production process.
      Alex740
      • 2 Years Ago
      If BMW and Audi only built M3s or RS4s as custom units in very limited runs then they would be 155k as well, the price has nothing to do with it, if this car ever became a real production model then the price would be far more competitive. Point is that Volvo and their tuning company can build a competitive car with the parts they have and that's not a small thing. People on here seem to forget that Audi was not mentioned in the same breath as Mercedes or BMW until the company was saved by A4 in the mid 90s and just like Volvo most of their cars are FWD, there is nothing to say Volvo can't change it's image as well especially with cars like the S60 coming out.
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Alex740
        Its called you cannot take on the Germans with FWD based chassis and expect to be taken seriously. There is a reason why the majority of BMW and Mercedes products use RWD architecture. Audi is different, but it wasn't until they switched the Torsen based Quattro to a 50/50 split (and later, a 40/60 split) that people began to take them seriously (incidentally, rumor has it that the next A8 might be RWD, based on the Panamera platform).
          Alex740
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carguy1701
          "Its called you cannot take on the Germans with FWD based chassis and expect to be taken seriously." Again, the RS4 is on a FWD chassis isn't it? The A4 is a FWD car that also offers AWD and they are on the same chassis right? Audi had found a way to make it's AWD cars perform well with a FWD chassis, there is nothing saying that Volvo can't do the same, it will just take time for them to develop into a true competitor, just like it had taken Audi time to do the same.
      domingorobusto
      • 2 Years Ago
      It looks good, sounds great, and is damned fast. A production version would be a hell of a lot cheaper as well, as everything is when you move from a one off prototype to even a limited volume production model. But I just can't see them being able to get it cheap enough to compete. It'd have to come in at around the $70k mark to be in the fight, and I just don't see it ever getting the kind of sales volumes that would make that feasible. So it's an extremely neat car, but one that doesn't have a lot of hope for production.
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @domingorobusto
        It isn'ty going to be produced. This was a one-off.
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carguy1701
          Whoop dee doo, it CAN be built. That doesn't mean it will be. There isn't enough time left in the lifecycle of the current S60 to make building it feasible, and IF it gets added to the product plan for the next gen car, it will be toned way down, seeing as there is no market for a 155k Volvo.
          Matt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carguy1701
          From Motor Trend: "Polestar refers to this car as a one-off for a single customer. It admitted to having enough parts to build 10 of them, and customers with the cash to buy them have already been found." http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1207_2012_volvo_s60_polestar_first_drive/viewall.html#ixzz2AibvUqy5
          domingorobusto
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carguy1701
          The V40 Polestar was a one-off until they planned to put it into production. And this is an extremely well finished car for a prototype. It sure looks to me like a production feasibility study. Although I think if it does make it to production it wouldn't be as nasty as this prototype.
      Rob Gomes
      • 2 Years Ago
      5 seconds a lap is a monstrous difference. Granted, it's a prototype, and a new M3 is just around the corner. I'd only ask that if they were to productionalize it, they do what they have with their previous R cars, which is to keep it very understated. Character-wise... honestly I'd prefer something along the lines of the Mitsubishi Evolution VIII and IX -- they made no attempts to be comfortable. Very peaky, aggressive cars. Granted, driving a noisy psychopath can be fun.
        Jonathan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob Gomes
        you mean new M4
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jonathan
          They aren't going to call it M4, because that rumor is bullshit and you are an idiot for believing it.
          Jonathan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jonathan
          looks like someone needs anger management classes
          Jonathan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jonathan
          dude. relax. put down the steroids and take a chill pill.
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jonathan
          The rumor has been around as long as the BMW V6 engine rumor. It. Is. Bullshit.
      DMS502
      • 2 Years Ago
      $155,000 makes it not comparable to the M3 or RS4!
      GuyClinch
      • 2 Years Ago
      Huh? dumb article. Bolt a turbo onto either of the germans and they will be faster and drive better then the S60.. RWD > Quattro > Haldex..
      ffelix422
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love when car companies, (usually American) brag about the performance of their cars that they will never build. How about you knock that price in 1/2 and let's see you compete... If you can.
      ghetto2315
      • 2 Years Ago
      Whoever is driving these cars must of just gotten their drivers license. A BMW M3 Coupe does 0-60 on average of 4.4 sec (6-Speed Manual) and 4.3 sec (M-DCT). I love the Polestar S60 concept, but I could have two M3's for the price. Fail...
      snap_understeer_ftw
      • 2 Years Ago
      Randy Pobst not driving this Volvo? then I don't care
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      Still not going to be built. Still based on a FWD chassis. Still irrelevant.
        Alex740
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carguy1701
        Still based on a FWD chassis... You mean like an Audi? Audi doesn't seem so irrelevant anymore
          GuyClinch
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Alex740
          Audi mounts their engines longitudinally and uses a 40/60 full time torque split. How is that "FWD"?
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Alex740
          Audi is smart, plus the rear bias for Quattro mask the nose heaviness pretty well. This, on the other hand, uses a transversely mounted engine and a Haldex AWD system, meaning most of the power will go to the front wheels.
          Alex740
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Alex740
          Because most Audis aren't AWD so the AWD ones are still based on FWD platforms, despite the longitudinal mounting. Without a doubt Volvo's Haldex system needs to be revamped for a rear bias but there is nothing to say Volvo can't do that in the future and figure out other techniques to make up for the transverse engine mounting much like Audi has done to be taken seriously, this is just the first step.
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