Although it has so far managed to avoid the fate of Sweden’s other iconic automaker, Volvo continues to struggle for traction under its new Chinese ownership. Sales did take a big 26.8 percent jump in November, but the brand sold just 6,141 vehicles and is ahead of last year’s pace through the first 11 months of the year by a mere 69 units. As for the Volvo S60—designed to reset consumer expectations with its notably naughty nature—the car continues to underperform the industry as a whole and has increased its year-to-date volume by a modest 8.7 percent on 21,012 sales, which does lead the brand to this point in 2012.
But clearly, the S60 has yet to light a fire under Volvo’s U.S. sales, and that brings us to the hotted-up Volvo S60 Polestar Concept that debuted during the Los Angeles Auto Show. Tuned by Volvo’s own performance-engineering partners at Polestar, the car packs enough power to run with (and perhaps ahead of) potential rivals like the BMW M3, Audi S4 or Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, showcases a slick and streamlined style, and would provide Volvo with the kind of high-performance halo car that would grab people’s attention in a way that the safest of Volvos can't.
Of course, that would require the automaker to approve the Volvo S60 Polestar Concept for production, something that hasn’t happened yet. The L.A. car was apparently built as a one-off project with one particular client in mind, and the word from Volvo is that “A small series of Polestar-modified S60s may be built pending market response.”
In other words, keep your fingers crossed!