When most Americans think of V-8 motorsports, the obvious first series to come to mind is NASCAR. But if you live Down Under, it's all about V8 Supercars, and the series is about to grow by one with the introduction of Volvo's S60 in the series. Australia's native auto manufacturing sector may be winding down for various economic reasons, but the country is as famously full of gearheads as ever, and Volvo is hoping to capture fans' passion with its new entry.
Those of you that have followed Volvo over the past decade may remember the narrow-angle B8444S 4.4-liter V-8 co-developed with Yamaha that was offered for a period in the XC90 crossover and S80 sedan. Although that engine is no longer offered in a production vehicle, the unique V-8 is making an encore appearance, albeit in modified form, in the new S60 V8 Supercar.
The engine has been punched out from its original 4.4 to 5.0 liters, with horsepower going from 311 to 650. Other aspects of the car comply with the V8 Supercars "Car of the Future" specifications, which include 18-inch wheels, a transaxle gearbox, and independent rear suspension.
Unfortunately for Volvo and its two drivers, Scott McLaughlin and Robert Dahlgren, the cars placed 17th and 19th out of a field of 25 cars in Saturday's practice session. Fortunately for Volvo and the other V8 Supercars teams, there are plenty of races left in the season to improve their performance, culminating in the Sydney 500 in December 2014.