This is one of those good news, bad news stories: after teasing us with the 405 horsepower, all-wheel-drive Volvo C30 Polestar concept last year, the automaker best known for building safe grocery getters has decided to put a version of the car into limited production.
If that’s the good news, here’s the bad: the C30 Polestar that you’ll be able to buy at your local Volvo dealer will come packing 250 horsepower instead of 405, and only the front wheels will be driven. On the bright side, that makes Volvo’s Smurf-blue (Rebel Blue, technically) hot hatch affordable by a much wider range of buyers.
In addition to the 250 horses, the turbocharged 2.5-liter in-line five will also make 273 pound-feet of torque. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s a gain of 23 horsepower and 37 pound-feet of torque, thanks to Polestar-revised engine management software. Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic gearbox, and Volvo’s Sport Chassis (with monotube dampers, stiffer springs, harder bushings and quicker steering) is standard.
Inside, there’s upgraded leather seating surfaces (in black or two-tone), aluminum chronograph-style instrumentation and a plaque identifying your car as one of just 250 built. Outside, buyers get any color they’d like, as long as that choice is Rebel Blue (which, honestly, looks just like Ford’s Grabber Blue to us). There’s a tasteful body kit, too, plus 17-inch matte black wheels and Polestar badging to remind others that this is no ordinary C30.
While it’s easy to pan the car as being a sheep in wolf’s clothing, Volvo is in the business of building safe and reliable cars first, and providing entertainment value isn’t it’s primary mission. Sure, Volvo could have produced the 405 horsepower C30 Polestar concept, but that’s a lot of strain to put on a 2.5-liter engine, especially one with a factory warranty. Then there’s the cost to consider, and we can’t imagine too many buyers willing to spend Porsche 911 money to buy a tuned, entry-level Volvo.
We’re fine with Volvo’s choices for the C30 Polestar Limited Edition, and we’re sure it will have no trouble selling all 250 copies. If you want one of your own, the price starts at $32,445, including the required $895 destination charge.