Volvo may be better known for turbo fives and inline fours, but in 2005 it launched the XC90 with a new eight-cylinder engine built for it by Yamaha. Fast forward to this past June when Volvo announced its intention to enter Australia's V8 Supercars series, where it would compete with the likes of Ford, Holden, Nissan and Mercedes-AMG. This is the engine with which it intends to do so.

Revealed this weekend at the Sydney 500, this competition-spec powerplant is based on the same B8444S that powered the XC90 and S80 (not to mention the Noble M600), but tuned for racing duty to be shoehorned into the new S60 touring car. The 60-degree aluminum block has been bored out from 4.4 liters to 5.0, its compression ratio boosted to 10:1, modified to run on E85 bio-ethanol and its redline increased to 7500 rpm. Volvo also promises a unique engine note from its new racers.

While Volvo and its racing partner Polestar haven't released official output numbers, regulations call for outputs between 620 and 650 horsepower – in any event, a whole lot more than the 311 hp it produces in stock form. (Noble managed to squeeze that much out of the same block, but that required twin turbochargers while this unit remains naturally aspirated.) Scope out the details in the press release below and the photos from the reveal in the gallery above.
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Volvo 2014 V8 Supercar engine makes its debut at Sydney 500

• Volvo Polestar Racing debuts its first ever V8 Supercar engine
• Race engine developed by Polestar with support from the same Volvo engineering team behind
upcoming Drive-E engines
• Unique engine promises distinctive sound

Volvo has unveiled the engine that will power its two Volvo Polestar Racing S60s in the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship.

Volvo Car Australia Managing Director Matt Braid lifted the covers on the race engine, with Volvo Car Group Motorsport Technical Director Martin Persson and Commercial Director Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin in attendance.

"As the first luxury car manufacturer to field a factory team in the V8 Supercar Championship, we're delighted to share this milestone moment with you and reveal our race engine for the 2014 V8 Supercar season," said Matt Braid, Managing Director of Volvo Cars Australia.

"The race team at Polestar have worked hand-in-hand with the engineering team at Volvo Cars to design, build and develop a race engine in Gothenburg, Sweden, to compete in Australia's premier motor racing category."

The global resources of the Volvo Car Group and Polestar, Volvo's performance and motorsport partner since 1996, are being fully utilised to facilitate the development of the Volvo Polestar Racing V8 Supercars in readiness for the 2014 season.

The Volvo B8444S 4.4-litre production V8 has been modified and built specifically for racing in the V8 Supercar Championship by Polestar – supported by the same people in Volvo Car Group who are behind the innovative four-cylinder Drive-E road car engines, which debut in Australia next year.

Thanks to its compact size and narrow 60 degree vee configuration, the B8444S is a truly unique engine on today's racing grid. With this in mind, motorsport fans can expect to instantly recognise the Volvo Polestar Racing S60s in 2014 thanks to the engine's distinctive soundtrack.

Christian Dahl, Managing Director of Polestar, said of the race engine: "We have completed a number of high-rev simulations and long-distance runs and we're very happy with the figures and outcomes we've achieved. The next step is to fit the engine to the race car and continue the pre-season development timetable."

Development of the race engine began back in May 2013. The first block was completed in late October and had its first run on the dyno in mid-November.

"So far, everything is on track with the race engine," said Volvo Car Group Motorsport Technical Director Martin Persson.

"On paper, this race engine and the new Drive-E engines are quite different. But from an engineering perspective it is a very similar process, and that is to push your imagination and creativity to the limit within a specific set of targets.

"For instance, whether you are aiming for leading efficiency or the most powerful race engine ever to be heard in the Australian V8 Supercars Championship, you will strive to reduce weight, friction, heat and to maximise power."

Further information about Volvo Polestar Racing will be released in due course.

Technical information

Block: Modified Volvo B8444S, 60 degree aluminium cylinder block
Heads: Modified Volvo B8444S, aluminium
Bore x Stroke: 95.5 x 87.1
Capacity: 4989cc
Compression Ratio: 10:1
Max revs: 7500rpm
Induction: Naturally aspirated, eight throttle bodies
Fuel: E85
Liners: Cast in steel liners
Valve Train: Double overhead camshafts, direct acting tappets, chain drive
Ignition: Volvo B8444S coil on plug
Injection: Port injection, one injector per cylinder, injection pressure: 5.5 bar

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Anybody else think of strippers when you see "Polestar"? No? Just me? Dammit.
        • 1 Year Ago
        You mean like a reality show - Polestar, the search for America's Top Exotic Dancer
      • 1 Year Ago
      Out of curiosity, is this the only 60 degree V8 on the market right now? Also, isn't 90 degree the optimal angle for V8s to minimize NVH?
        • 1 Year Ago
        not necesarly depends on lot of think like diameter or stroke and how do yo want it to perform too...
      Andrew Pappas
      • 1 Year Ago
      Australian v8 supercars going all NASCAR on us.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Andrew Pappas
        Tube frame chassis? Sure. Everything else? Not even close. And the racing is SO much better than NASCAR...
          • 1 Year Ago
          Yeah I watched both races from Sydney this past weekend. Great racing. Thought Whincup was out of his mind for mixing it up late in the second race but it ended up fine for him. I liked those race distances better than the short sprints they sometimes do. I think they call them 60 60 or something like that.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Someone is fibbing with 10:1 compression and E85, leaving horsepower on the table. More likely 12-13:1.
        Cory Stansbury
        • 1 Year Ago
        Agreed. I HIGHLY doubt this engine is only 10:1.
        • 1 Year Ago
        No way a 7500 rpm ,10:1 compression V8 makes 600+hp, it's definitely higher.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why did they got with a 60 degree V8 instead of the traditional 90 degree?
        • 1 Year Ago
        Their 60 degree B8444S engine is mounted transversely in the XC90 SUV and the S80 Sedan. I'm guessing they didn't want to switch up the architecture of the block, just as Chevrolet uses the same LS7 design in their C6.R Lemans racecar.
          • 1 Year Ago
          excuse me, Chevrolet *used*. but still, you get the gist ;)
      • 1 Year Ago
      How's the carbon fiber on the heads work? I'm just curious.
        • 1 Year Ago
        The heads are clearly aluminum as shown in the picture. You have confused the valve cover with the head.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Ehhh, it works like any other valve-cover in aluminium or plastic. Just keeping the oil in?
        • 1 Year Ago
        Just a valvetrain cover.
          • 1 Year Ago
          I see that now in the press release, they're actually aluminum heads. Thanks!
      • 1 Year Ago
      So awesome! It's a real shame that Volvo finally developed a honey of a V8 engine... right before it became impractical. It'll never be in a Volvo road car again, at least it lives on in some form in racing. I always dreamed of a V8 Volvo, and there were a precious couple years where they offered it in an S80 and XC90. 60 degrees is not optimal, yes, they had to have a hydraulic balancing mechanism. But the packaging was slimmer, those V8s were transverse-mounted! It really had a unique, revvy, small displacement V8 snarl... I would love to have seen what could've come from a few generations of development on those engines in road cars. An AWD V8 legitimate M5-fighter? Alas, we'll never know.
      • 1 Year Ago
      sexy headers
      • 1 Year Ago
      Are these beautiful masterpieces cross or flat plane crank?
        • 1 Year Ago
        jebibudala, my understanding is the race engines will have flat plane cranks. But looking at pictures of a street engine apart, it looks like those have a cross-plane crank with offset throws, kind of like the old GM 231 V-6's in the 1980's. Cheers!
      • 11 Months Ago
      ALL V8 supercar regulatin engines are restricted to 10:CR & 7500 rpm and 5L caapcity...and they are ALL making over 630hp easily and reliably (~5000km race km). Yes, you are both right, it is not the ideal C fro an e85 exclusive engine....I work into Automotive OE in engine design, and e85 engines exist with CR as low as 9.65:1...but best is arouns 11-12 for best overall compromise, i myself i hae built race engines with dohc-4v Nat asp and usually set the Cr to 13.5-14.6, and see a 6-7% power gain from that alone...but you can never then run them on gasoline though... The E85 and 10:1 combo are political machinations on the part of V8 supercars admin...the major sponsor is an Ethanol provider, and there is a big push on E10 ethanol fuel here in Australia....nothing to do with getting best efficiency is on the rulemakers minds...however, my two friends who work in the teams are just screaming for more comp, as they know the improvement in performance it will yield, but mostimportantly, the fue efficiency will be greatly imroved on e85, something very important in a 1000km (600mile) endurance race!
      • 1 Year Ago
      "As the first luxury car manufacturer to field a factory team in the V8 Supercar Championship..." Ah, Isn't Mercedes already running in the V8 Supercars?
        • 1 Year Ago
        Erebus Racing is the team fielding the Mercs, they're not a factory-sponsored team.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Interesting, never seen a water pump on the side of the engine before, makes the front of the engine down right naked!
        • 1 Year Ago
        Maserati's 4.2 V8 has the oil & water pump on the side. Although it is a dry sump system.
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