Volvo acquires 100 per cent of Polestar

Racing brand becomes carmaker’s performance division

Volvo Cars has announced it has acquired 100 per cent of Polestar Performance and the Polestar brand, absorbing the performance firm’s road car division and all of its employees in the process. The brand name will now be used on high performance Volvos, allowing Volvo to create a range of vehicles to compete with products from the likes of BMW M and Mercedes-AMG. 

Volvo plans to mix its own knowledge of electrification technology with Polestar’s performance know-how to produce a future range of high performance hybrids. The Swedish carmaker claims to be the largest manufacturer of plug-in hybrids in Europe – Polestar’s existing employees will therefore gain access to some of the world’s most advanced hybrid research and development. 

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

In 2015, Volvo expects to sell 750 Polestar versions of its V60 estate and S60 saloon, but it wants to double this number for Polestar products in coming years. It also wants to grow its range of Polestar performance optimisation kits for existing Volvos, suggesting we could see styling packs added to options lists, operating in a similar manner to Mercedes’ AMG Line and BMW’s M Sport packs.

Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, says of the news: ‘Driving a Volvo Polestar is a special experience. We have decided to bring this experience to more Volvo drivers, placing the full resources of Volvo behind the development of Polestar as the model name for our high performance cars.’

The two brands have worked together since 1996, when Volvo created Polestar as its factory racing team in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship. Since then they’ve enjoyed seven teams’ and six drivers’ championships under the helm of team principal Christian Dahl. But while Polestar’s road car assets have become Volvo’s, the race team will remain independent, albeit under a new (yet to be confirmed) name.

‘We are extremely satisfied with the way the performance business with Volvo has developed,’ explains Dahl. ‘But we are a racing team first and foremost. This is an opportunity to return our full attention to our core business – to develop and race Volvo cars.’

At evo we’re big fans of Polestar’s latest road products, with our drive in the Volvo V60 Polestar confirming it’s a genuine rival for the BMW 335i and Audi S5 Avant. Not only does it produce more power, beating the 302bhp BMW and the 328bhp Audi with 345bhp, it also utilises Ohlins dampers (that are 80 per cent stiffer than the V60 R-Design) to offer impressive body control considering its 1834kg kerb weight. 

Using this as an example, we’re excited to see what Rebel Blue coloured performance models come out of this new arrangement. Could we see a hot version of the V40 estate produced to take on the BMW M135i? Or a performance version of the S80 saloon? We can’t wait to find out.

Recommended

Volvo P1800 Cyan restomod revealed – Volvo’s racing arm fettles a classic
Volvo

Volvo P1800 Cyan restomod revealed – Volvo’s racing arm fettles a classic

2 Sep 2020
Volvo introduces speed limiters
Volvo

Volvo introduces speed limiters

14 Apr 2020

Most Popular

SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car
News

SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car

Over a decade after SSC last entered the record books, its Tuatara has claimed the title of world’s fastest production car
19 Oct 2020
Hot Cupra Formentor spied testing – with a five-cylinder warble
Cupra

Hot Cupra Formentor spied testing – with a five-cylinder warble

Is Cupra about to get hold of Audi’s brilliant five-cylinder petrol engine?
19 Oct 2020
Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot
Alpine

Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot

Heated-up Renaults but no A110 replacement for Alpine as it follows in Cupra and Abarth footsteps
21 Oct 2020
Car pictures of the week
Lotus Elise

Car pictures of the week

In this week’s car pictures, from issue 279, we look at the highlights from our lightweight sports car triple test
23 Oct 2020