Polestar achieves a 30% rise in aerodynamic grip


When engineers at Polestar, Volvo’s performance division, were working out how to improve the performance and handling of the 2018 Volvo S60 and V60 models, they took a slightly left-field focus for the dynamics package: the aerodynamics. Among the 250 component changes made to the ‘standard’ Volvo models, aerodynamic components made from carbon fiber have been added.

The aerodynamic enhancements include a front splitter, side sills and a rear spoiler extension. Such components are often added to make a car look more purposeful, but according to Polestar they really do enhance the dynamics package of these models – to the tune of an increase in downforce of 30%, which increases grip and high-speed stability.

Polestar co-developed the aerodynamic exterior package with Cyan Racing, the motorsport partner of Polestar, applying data and learnings derived from the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) program. Many of these components were developed and tested during the race team’s recently revealed Nürburgring test, when a Polestar S60 claimed the record for the fastest four-door road legal car around the Nordschleife circuit.

Of course there are dynamics enhancements under the skin of these models too, with key component changes including an adjustable Öhlins shock absorber system and six-piston Brembo brake calipers with 371mm discs.

“The 2018MY S60 and V60 Polestar models are the pinnacle of our road car programs that we have been developing successfully since our first road car was launched in 2013,” said Jörgen Ronstad, VP of product strategy & management at Polestar.

“The aerodynamic enhancements, combined with other small but important changes, further enhances our base philosophy of a performance car for all roads and conditions, transferring technology and learnings from track to road.”

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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