Volvo hasn't been shy about its performance intentions, and now it’s made a significant move by buying Polestar, the Swedish motorsports and engineering firm that in recent years has developed go-fast versions of select Volvo road cars. In the future, the Polestar name will signify the fastest models in Volvo’s lineup, a move we’ve already seen with the S60 and V60 Polestar models.
Under the sale terms, the existing Polestar racing team will be renamed and continue as a separate unit, with former Polestar owner Christian Dahl remaining in charge of the team. The team will still have close links with Volvo, though, as the two will continue to collaborate on projects.
“We are extremely satisfied with the way the performance business with Volvo has developed,” Dahl said in a statement. “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.”
Volvo and Polestar share a long history, with the two firms involved together in motorsports since 1996. Polestar stands for a comfortable driving experience with a very high level of power and handling, and can be thought of as Volvo’s version of the BMW M division or Mercedes-AMG, albeit on a much smaller scale.
This year, Volvo expects to sell just 750 S60 and V60 Polestar models worldwide. However, with the addition of new models, Polestar sales are forecast to increase to between 1,000 and 1,500 cars a year in the medium term. Some of these new models will include high-performance hybrids, as Volvo’s most potent powertrains, like the T8 ‘Twin Engine’ setup found in the 2016 XC90, combine turbocharged four-cylinder engines with electric drive systems.
In addition to whole cars, there will also be official Polestar performance parts.