It’s funny how you can sometimes overlook a real gem in the motoring world. One such gem that’s passed me by until today is the Volvo C30 Polestar, a hardcore 400bhp version of Volvo’s handsome but typically underwhelming sports hatch.

The Polestar, officially a one-off concept, isn’t your average warmed up range topper mind. It’s had a complete engineering makeover from Polestar, the tuning firm behind Volvo’s Swedish Touring Car Championship effort.

So it gets a turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine (also found in the Ford Focus RS), a Haldex all-wheel drive system, a pair of clever differentials, brakes borrowed from a Ferrari F430, downforce-producing aerodynamics and a full-on race suspension system.

I was a passenger in the Polestar in this afternoon’s Supercar Run at Goodwood, with race-winning Swedish touring car driver Alexander Storckenfeldt as my pilot. Thoughts? Well, in the real world, this is almost as quick a car as you’ll ever need.

Performance is explosive off the line (0-62mph takes just 4.6sec) and the Haldex and suspension systems helps get the power down with minimum fuss, very little wheelspin and almost no torque steer. Through the corners, it was nicely balanced and on its cut slick tyres had grip to spare.