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Volvo excited by four-cylinder Supercars

Tuesday 15th July, 2014 - 4:00am

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Volvo's V8 Supercars effort has proven competitive from the outset of 2014

Volvo’s V8 Supercars effort has proven competitive from the outset of 2014

Volvo Car Australia has declared interest in downsizing its V8 Supercars engine package to four-cylinders, should such a change be welcomed under the next-generation rules.

V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton revealed last month that he is currently preparing a white paper for the category’s Board on the future direction of the championship.

Declaring that that there will be “no sacred cows” in the overhaul, a move to open up the championship to different engine configurations appears to be a matter of time.

VCA managing director Matt Braid sees a reshaping of the rules as a potential chance to draw his company’s racing program closer to its road going products.

The Swedish marque has entered the championship this year with a bespoke 5.0 litre version of its out-of-production B8444S V8.

Although its hero road car, the S60 Polestar, features an inline six-cylinder turbo, Volvo is moving towards a four-cylinder only strategy for its production offerings through its latest Drive-E branded engines.

The first of the Drive-E units arrived in Australia in May and have been developed in conjunction with Polestar – a point that Volvo Car Australia has been keen to point out in its marketing.

The Polestar V8 Supercars motor has proven a pace-setter from its debut in March, but may find itself with a short racing life if the rules are given a significant refresh.

“We’d be very excited with that prospect,” Braid told Speedcafe.com when asked of Volvo’s attitude towards a significant change to the V8 Supercars engine rules.

“Obviously our company globally is pursuing a four-cylinder engine strategy as we move forward into the future.

“Currently we have a good link between engineers that have worked on our four-cylinder production engines and our V8 race engine, but being able to have a similar architecture in the future where you can really have a greater alignment between production technology and racing technology would be very exciting.

“If that was a possibility then it is something we’d distinctly look at.”

Braid confirmed that Volvo has enjoyed open dialogue with V8 Supercars about its future direction as Warburton seeks input from a variety of manufacturers, both those currently competing and those on the outside.

“James (Warburton) and the V8 Supercars organisation to their credit have been very open and transparent about seeking support and assistance and advice and feedback from all parties,” he said.

“What’s been put out in the public so far, they are making no secret in that they’re assessing where the category goes in the future.

“We’ve had our input into that but nothing more than that at this stage. We’re looking forward to seeing what comes from it.”

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