Saturday, May 14, 2011

Volvo Going Racing with Rear-Drive Volvo S60

Now that the production 2011 Volvo S60 has launched, Volvo is turning its attention to the race track. The Belgian arm of the Swedish automaker outlined the first details of its entry into 2010 the Belgian Touring Car Series, which begins April 11.

The BTCS is a six-race endurance series. Most races consist of two 90-minute heats, while a 12-hour race occurs at legendary Spa-Francorchamps. Competition includes BMW, Audi, Jaguar, and Volkswagen.

The racing S60 falls under Silhouette S1 specification, meaning all cars must use a tubular chassis, identical front and rear suspension, aerodynamics, and an engine no larger than 3500 cubic-centimeters.

The team's goal, including drivers Vincent Radermecker and Eric Van De Poele, is to get acquainted with the new car, per manager Thomas Neri. "Our main objective is to get up to speed and to compete well in the various heats. Next season we hope to put our own in-house developed engine in the car," he said in a press release.

Volvo S60 BTCS Silhouette S1 Specs:
Chassis: Tubular frame
Layout: Mid-engine, rear-drive
Drivetrain: 3500cc V-6, six-speed sequential transmission
Output: 410 hp, 304 lb-ft
Suspension, f;r: Independent, 3-way adjustable shocks; independent, 3-way onboard adjustable shocks
Brake, f;r: 15.0-in rotor, 6-piston caliper; 14-in rotor, 6-piston caliper
Wheels, f;r: 10 x 18-in; 12 x 18-in
Tires, f;r: Michelin 27/65/18; 30/65/18

In related news, Polestar Performance, the team behind Volvo's Swedish Touring Car Team, has announced a road car project based off the C30. Details are slim, but the racing team says the C30 will boast 395 horsepower, all-wheel-drive, and aerodynamic tricks used in racing.
"Polestar has probably spent more time than anyone else in the world to get speed out of the C30, and this time we can realize ideas without being halted by specific race regulations," said Jan Andersson, team technical director.

The project will debut at the Gothenburg auto show between April 22 and 25. Fans can follow project updates at Polestar's Web site.

-By Carlos Lago