The interior is covered in various grades of suede by Swedish tannery Tärnsjö Garveri. Rough gray suede covers the dashboard, smoother suede of the same color covers the racy Recaro seats and black suede covers just about everything else. Body mods include canards to direct air over and around the front bumper and a hinged wing over the glass hatch. The front fenders get a little flare from extensions that are not unlike the SLR 722 GT racecar’s.
Credit Volvo for letting Polestar build what’s essentially an RS Cosworth on the Barry Bonds steroid program, an update of the Lancia Delta Integrale or the reincarnation of the Sport Quattro. Their C30 is the definition of car porn: titillating, lustworthy, addictive, but ultimately unobtainable.
Now, being that the Haldex also fits the C30, how about a limited run of all-wheel-drive C30s with a T5 turbo tuned to 300 hp to give VW’s Golf R some competition? Wouldn’t that be naughty?
From Hollywood to Goodwood
Polestar Marketing Director Hans Baath on being here and there with volvo
ec: You had a whirlwind tour of the US with your C30 and then got on a plane to the UK. What were some of your experiences over here that stand out?
HB: Before leaving for the US we knew that there is a substantial interest for Volvo performance cars and parts, but we were really surprised over the enthusiasm we received over the car. This is a one-off concept car, which is not for sale, but we got some really tempting offers.
ec: There have been a small number of tuners in the US that specialize in Volvo. What will make your efforts stand out, in particular the scene in California?
HB: We are of course aware that there are other enterprises working with Volvo cars in different ways. All of them with a slightly different orientation, focusing on different levels of performance for different customers. Polestar is Volvo Cars’ official performance partner and focuses on delivering products developed in close cooperation with Volvo engineering. For the customer this means that when buying a Polestar product it comes with a full Volvo factory warranty, all data is measured and validated by Volvo, and so on. No other tuner apart from Polestar can offer that.
ec: The most common question has been if something like the Polestar C30 will see production. How realistic is that possibility and if not, could you go the route of a company like Ruf and how it handles its Porsche upgrades?
HB: It is a bit too early to make any prognoses about production of Polestar cars. The C30 is our first edition and we need to cover more ground before making any commitments. However, from a technical standpoint the C30 is based on off-the-shelf Volvo parts, meaning production would be fully possible.
ec: A invitation to run up the driveway at Goodwood is considered to be the ultimate. How did this come about?
HB: Here we must thank the people at Volvo Cars UK for their great work. The UK is a country with a special taste for performance hatchbacks, and especially after Jeremy Clarkson’s enthusiastic Top Gear testdrive the interest for Polestar and the C30 has been massive. Volvo Cars UK has channeled the requests from the organizers to us and we tried to cover as much ground as possible.
ec: How many runs did you make, how was the car received by the public overall and what positives will you take from the appearance at Goodwood?
HB: We did six runs in total, four with ex-Volvo/Polestar STCC driver Alexander Storckenfeldt and two with present driver James Thompson, arriving on Sunday having raced in the STCC in Sweden on Saturday. The car ran in the Super Car class and it really stood out among the Ferraris, Lambos and Porsches. I personally think that the reason for the car being so recognized and well received is that it is just what you would not expect from Volvo. The characteristic five-cylinder turbo engine sound and the amount of grip produced by the Haldex all-wheel drive are both genuine Volvo attributes, but in the Polestar C30 they are expressed in a way people are not used to. This car is a not-so-Volvo Volvo.