Takeover deal paves the way for high-performance Volvos with electric power helping petrol engines

Volvo is lining up a series of high-performance hybrid models as part of a deal that sees the Swedish car maker taking full control of tuning specialist Polestar.

Volvo has confirmed that it has taken 100% ownership of the Gothenburg-based Polestar concern, which has its origins in the Swedish Touring Car Championship. The two parties have already collaborated on production cars, with Volvo expecting to sell around 750 examples of the V60 and S60 Polestar editions this year. The firm believes this figure will rise to between 1000 and 1500 cars per year “in the medium term”.

However, Volvo has also suggested that in the longer term Polestar’s development focus will shift to performance versions of its recently introduced hybrid powertrains. “Polestar will also in future utilise Volvo’s twin-engine electrification technology to develop next-generation performance cars,” the firm said in a statement.

That’s a reference to the plug-in hybrid systems in the latest XC90, which combine a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 395bhp in the T8 model. It’s likely that Polestar will take a similar set-up but retune it for higher performance, perhaps at the expense of some of the system’s electric-only range, or use the powertrain in its existing form in smaller vehicles that will follow on the XC90’s Scalable Product Architecture platform. The next S60, due by the start of 2017, would be an ideal candidate.

“All of the latest Drive-E engines can be paired with electric motors,” said a Volvo spokesperson. “For example, the XC90’s T8 set-up is the T6 engine with an electric motor added. The T6 motor can stand alone, but it’s likely that in the interests of power Polestar would look to have the additional boost that an electric motor can bring.”

Volvo has declined to reveal how much it has paid for Polestar. All of the firm’s employees will switch to Volvo, although Polestar’s racing arm will be rebranded and remain under the control of its current boss, Christian Dahl. In addition to bespoke models, the takeover will allow Polestar performance kits to be sold to existing customers.

“Driving a Volvo Polestar is a special experience,” said Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo’s president and CEO. “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.”

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14 July 2015
This for Volvo, is some really great news, they will not be shackled now, by a management that will predominantly want to take the brand into more sport - STCC is a great race series, and has given them the presence to push the Polestar brand forward, now, with the Chinese parent company holding the main purse strings, they need to do a Citroen and take the S60 into WTCC, it will get worldwide acknowledgment, and with it, more sales, especially in China where the C-Elysee has proven a big hit, and after the WTCC entry, sales shot up.

However, they have missed a trick, they should have replaced the C30, yes it was based heavily on the Focus, but they could have cut down the V40 platform, yes it is the Ford C1 platform, but really hacked about, unlike the C30, a good looking car in that segment could once again be a big hit, well, here in the Uk at least, which was the C30 biggest export market.

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