Volvo V8 Supercar effort set for launch
Volvo and its Swedish performance arm Polestar will today reveal their plans to enter the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship with Garry Rogers Motorsport.
The launch is set to take place in Brisbane, Queensland, late this morning in an event that will also serve as the local unveil of the high performance S60 Polestar road car.
The V8 Supercar program is expected to see long-time Holden outfit GRM campaign two Volvo S60-bodied cars next season.
The deal is said to be a multi-million dollar, multi-year, commitment from the manufacturer.
It will include technical support from Polestar, whose racing arm currently runs Volvo’s Scandinavian Touring Car Championship campaign.
Polestar’s managing director Christian Dahl appeared at the weekend’s Hidden Valley V8 Supercar event as a guest of GRM.
Dahl was spotted in conversation with a variety of the sport’s key players, but declined approaches from inquisitive media.
At least one of the company’s STCC drivers, Robert Dahlgren, is tipped to join Dahl in attending today’s launch.
Although Volvo does not currently have an eight cylinder engine in its road car range, it is thought likely that the 4.4 litre V8 previously seen in the S80 and XC90 will be developed into a 5.0 litre unit fitting to V8 Supercars’ rules.
V8 Supercars has been offering potential new manufacturers a Chevrolet-based ‘generic’ engine with which they can enter the championship, although neither Nissan nor Erebus-AMG elected to pursue such a plan.
News of Volvo’s impending V8 Supercars entry broke while the final sign-off was taking place at the company’s head office earlier this month.
The impending arrival of at least one additional brand into the championship had been telegraphed by V8 Supercars Commission chairman Mark Skaife at a Nissan media conference at Austin, Texas, in mid-May.
Volvo’s V8 Supercar interest follows its involvement in the Australian Touring Car Championship’s Group A era of the 1980s, which netted the 1986 title through Kiwi Robbie Francevic.
The marque then enjoyed a strong factory presence in Australian Super Touring for much of the following decade, taking the 1998 Bathurst 1000 with Jim Richards and Swede Rickard Rydell.
Volvo Australia will hope to add performance credibility to its brand through V8 Supercars, and is understood to have been highly impressed by the widespread media attention that Nissan has been able to gain through its entry into the championship.
Stay tuned to Speedcafe.com today for all the news from the Volvo V8 Supercars launch.