Volvo’s unusual sounding 60-degree V8 engines served notice it will be a force to contend with this season on the Australia V8 Supercar circuit. Volvo driver Scott McLaughlin scored a second-place finish (see video below) in the second race of a 3-race weekend in at the Adelaide 500, and McLaughlin was also seventh in the opening race. Although none of the Volvo cars finished the finale on Sunday, excitement over the Swedish automaker’s arrival was certainly apparent. Reports indicate Volvo merchandise sold out and the normally partisan crowds were cheering madly for Volvo during the tight race.
Volvo is the third new manufacturer to enter the series after Nissan and Mercedes-Benz broke the Ford/Holden blockade in 2013. The last time any manufacturer other than Ford and Holden competed was in the early ’90s when Nissan, BMW and Toyota were part of the grid.
The Volvo engine is based on the automaker’s B8444S architecture, which was developed by Yamaha. A twin-turbocharged version of this platform is also used in the Noble M600 supercar. Although a V8 in configuration, the aluminum block features a 60-degree bank angle. Normally a 4.4-liter displacement in production form, the engine grows to 5.0-liter to compete in Australian V8 Supercar with a 95.5mm bore and 87.1mm stroke (3.76 x 3.43 inches). Actual displacement is 4,989cc. Rules limit compression to 10:1, and there is a rev limit of 7,500 rpm. Induction is via eight individual throttle bodies and port injection (5.5 bar fuel-line pressure). Dual overhead cams handle the valve timing for the engine that is advertised at 650 horsepower.
Development of the race engine by Volvo specialist Polestar Racing began in May 2013, and the first block was completed in late October. First dyno runs were recored later in November. Check out the video above to learn more about the engine and hear its unique soundtrack. For information on the Nissan engine, check out this introductory story and an update from the raceshop.