Volvo’s Polestar plans
Tuning arm set to go electric
Volvo will reinvent Polestar as a maker of highperformance electrified cars — and its first model is likely to be the new XC60 and previewed later this year.
Polestar was acquired outright by Volvo in 2015. Before then, it had long been known as a maker of poweredup Volvos, as well as being involved in racing Volvos.
Now Volvo is poised to reinvent Polestar as a maker of solely plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson told Autocar, with SUVS such as the new XC60 the most likely candidates for the Polestar performance overhaul.
“We now see Polestar as focused on ‘progressive premiumness’ and electrification,” he said on the eve of the Geneva motor show. ‘Progressive premiumness’, Samuelsson said, meant Volvo was looking ahead to what people thought would be a premium performance car in five years’ time, and that it will be electric-powered.
He said Polestar “will not be a high-performance petrol brand or model” and will “move from petrol to electric”.
Electric means both plug-in hybrid and pure electric, he said, and Polestar models will be used to introduce new electric and connected technology that will filter down to the rest of the Volvo range.
Samuelsson said Volvo was looking at entering Formula E through Polestar to back up the brand’s electric credentials.
Polestar would remain a sub-brand of Volvo, he said, and would not be spun off into its own brand as Mercedes-benz has done with AMG.
Volvo is committed to launching an electric model in 2019 with a range in excess of 310 miles. It will be a variant of an existing model, most likely the XC60 or XC90, rather than an all-new car. Then the technology will be offered across the rest of its range. Volvo hopes to have sold one million plug-in hybrid and electric cars by 2025.
Volvo is also on track to hit its sales target of 800,000 units by 2020, according to Samuelsson. Significant growth will be provided by the launch of the new XC60 and smaller XC40 models later this year. The S60 and V60 replacements will be in production by mid-2018, before a replacement for the V40 is launched. Volvo will then consider further additions to the 40-series family.
SUVS currently account for just over 50% of Volvo sales, but that is set to rise significantly with the launches this year of the XC60 and XC40.
XC60, launched at Geneva, is likely to be Polestar’s next car