Volvo buys Polestar to up its performance car game

Volvo Cars has today confirmed the acquisition of Polestar, a Swedish tuning company previously associated with the brand’s fastest and most hardcore production models.

The two already share a long and illustrious history, and have been working together in both motorsport and road cars since 1996. As a result of the new partnership, Volvo hopes to sell between 1,000 and 1,500 Polestar models in the medium-term, with bigger plans for the more distant future.

Hakan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo Cars, said: “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 current Volvo V60 Polestar uses a 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine developing 345bhp. It’ll do 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds and rivals cars like the Audi RS 4 and new Mercedes-AMG C 63.

However, Polestar will soon use Volvo’s electrification expertise, with its sights set firmly on faster, cleaner performance cars for the hybrid generation. With plug-in technology already available on the V60, it’s fair to assume a Polestar-tweaked hybrid version could cut the car’s 0-62mph by as much as a second – while improving fuel economy by more than 50 per cent.

It will continue to develop aftermarket add-ons and performance-related software, too. This will include suspension components, aerodynamic add-ons and ECU upgrades – as well as interior options like steering wheels and sports seats.

No financial details of the deal have been disclosed, but it has been confirmed that all current Polestar staff will become Volvo employees going forward. Volvo has absorbed the tuner in its entirety, previously holding no stake – despite previous high-spec models carrying the Polestar badge. It has not bought any part of the racing division, though, which will continue to operate as its own entity.

Can Polestar Volvos really hope to beat their high-performance German rivals? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

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