Volvo will launch high-performance versions of its new S90 saloon and forthcoming V90 estate, carrying Polestar badging and featuring hybrid powertrains, the company’s boss has revealed.
The new Volvo S90 was revealed today, with the standard Volvo V90 estates set to be revealed early next year. The Swedish brand’s new flagship saloon - which sits on the same Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) as the XC90 SUV - is designed to take on the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6, as well as the Jaguar XF.
All of those executive saloon rivals have hot versions, though - and the German brands in particular sell a wide range of add ons and suspension and body kits branded with their respective performance divisions. Volvo now owns its Polestar division, which grew from its involvement in the Swedish Touring Car Championship, and is seeking to expand its remit.
Volvo must follow its rivals, according to the company’s boss Håkan Samuelsson. “You could have a high-performance variant [of the S90] without leaving the brand,” he said. “You could still have a nice car with smart design and functionality, but what’s wrong with a little performance?
“Right now we have the S60 and V60 as Polestar variants, and we believe in the [Polestar] brand - that’s why we bought it. So now we’re looking at using it more on performance cars within the family.”
Samuelsson also suggested that Polestar’s future direction would include hybrid models: “How we bring the brand to market is open, but one way we are definitely looking at is for Polestar to focus on electrification.”
That comment was supported by Volvo’s R&D chief Peter Mertens, who said, “Polestar will still be sophisticated performance; it’s not just a case of doing a ‘boy racer’ by dropping a big engine in there. Hybrid power is the direction that Polestar will go in. In a way, Tesla has legitimised electric performance, although Polestar will be more sophisticated again. We want to be able to offer high performance without regrets.”