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Volvo acquires Polestar performance arm

Something blue: Volvo and Polestar have worked together for 19 years, and its recent S60 sedan and V60 wagon are proof of a happy marriage.

Swedish tuning house Polestar brought in-house by Volvo as racing arm is hived off

15 Jul 2015

VOLVO has acquired the road tuning arm of Swedish performance house Polestar, and confirmed that future go-fast Volvos will use plug-in hybrid tech to boost its output.

Polestar and Volvo have been in business for 19 years, working on both road and racing projects and is behind its recent V60 and S60 hot rods, as well as a range of hop-up kits for Volvo road cars.

Recent comments by senior Volvo management figures expressing a desire for the brand to move away from racing appear to be wide of the mark however, the racing arm of Polestar will change names and continue to be run by founder Christian Dahl.

Volvo will look to Polestar to develop a range of performance cars based on the company’s incoming hybrid technology, which will debut on the forthcoming XC90 seven-seat SUV.

The Swedish car-maker's 'twin engine' plug-in powertrain combines a T6 petrol engine with a 60kW/240Nm electric motor and a 9.2kWh lithium-ion battery for a combined output of 294kW and 640Nm under the bonnet of the forthcoming XC90 T8.

Earlier this year at the XC90 global media launch in Spain, a senior Volvo executive all but confirmed to GoAuto that a hot Polestar version of the XC90 was under development. The Polestar moniker will be also be used to designate special-edition Volvos.

In a statement, Volvo said that there would be no job losses incurred by the acquisition, while Mr Dahl would continue to run Volvo’s current racing efforts – four cars in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship and technical assistance to Garry Rogers Motorsport in Melbourne for its two-car V8 Supercar program – under a different name.

Volvo Cars president and chief executive Hakan Samuelsson said the acquisition will benefit Volvo drivers looking for a bit more spice.

“Driving a Volvo Polestar is a special experience,” he said. “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.”

Volvo said in a statement that it expects to sell 750 V60 and S60 Polestar variants globally by year's end, but predicted this to increase to between 1000 and 1500 units annually once it takes complete control of the performance arm.

A co-badged Volvo Polestar S60 sedan in 2013, while the V60 wagon was added to the range in 2014, with a 257kW T6 engine, Ohlins dampers, Eibach springs and large brakes featuring on its build list.

A limited run of 50 cars was offered locally by Volvo Australia in 2013, with an updated version arriving late last year.

Volvo Australia entered into a partnership with Garry Rogers Motorsport to run a pair of S60 V8 Supercars from the start of the 2013 season, under a deal inked by former chief executive officer Matt Braid. The current deal is set to expire at the end of 2016.

A revised set of rules comes into force for the local touring car category in 2017 the S60 uses a reworked version of the previous XC90’s Yamaha-developed 5.2-litre V8.

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