You only need look at brands such as Mercedes, Audi and BMW to see how important performance models are to premium carmakers. Historically, these created a so-called halo effect, bringing buyers to the brands, but increasingly, they are becoming a sales force in their own right.
AMG is leading the pack, selling almost 100,000 vehicles last year. That’s more than plenty of mainstream manufacturers. Meanwhile, Audi Sport and BMW M have recently announced new strategies and Jaguar Land Rover is fast ramping up its SVR offering.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise then that Polestar will become a standalone brand for Volvo. It’s savvy business. Volvo has been on an upwards trajectory for a few years now, with all its recent cars – the XC90, S90, V90 and new XC60 – being well-received. The XC40 will be revealed later this year, which seems set to become its biggest seller, and there are rumours of a smaller ‘20’ range too.
Having firmly established itself as an alternative premium player, it’s the perfect time to raise the game again and establish Polestar in its own right.
Previously, Volvo has offered a Polestar performance version of models including the S90 and V90. While it was known to us car enthusiasts, the sub-brand went largely under the radar for the general public. This news – plus a lot of hard work – will change that.
Most excitingly of all, Polestar models will be electrified, something its premium performance rivals haven’t yet managed. Of course it’s inevitable for all brands – we know that a hybrid of sorts will arrive in AMG models in 2018 – but, nevertheless, how brilliant that Polestar is leading the way, becoming a tour de force on its own terms.
I must admit - I’m a self-confessed Volvo fan – but with such brilliantly engineered and designed Volvo models already in play, I’m convinced Polestar has a bright, bright future.