Volvo is helping its Polestar performance brand step up a gear – by launching it as a standalone high-performance brand producing a full range of electrified cars. The new Polestar division will be led by former Volvo design chief Thomas Ingenlath, with global communications director (and Brit) Jonathan Goodman stepping up to become COO.
Future cars will be badged purely as Polestars: they will carry no Volvo logos. They will compete with performance brands from other premium car makers: Audi RS, BMW M and Mercedes-AMG. Volvo's decision to give them all electrified drivetrains – that's plug-in hybrid tech – will give it a real USP in this high-margin sector.
"I am really excited to take up the challenge of establishing this exciting brand, developing a fabulous portfolio of bespoke products and channelling the passion we have throughout the Polestar team," said Ingenlath. "The next chapter in Polestar's history is just beginning."
Goodman is "ideally placed to provide operational experience alongside Thomas's vision, building on the experienced management team that will drive the Polestar brand forwards," added Samuelsson. "Polestar will be a credible competitor in the emerging global market for high performance electrified cars... with Polestar, we are able to offer electrified cars to the world's most demanding, progressive drivers in all market segments."
So what's in store? Expect Polestar to use the cost savings from synergies with Volvo to develop even faster and more potent plug0in hybrid models. For example, the current Volvo S90 T8 petrol-electric hybrid is capable of 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds, combined with just 48g/km CO2. Polestar is certain to be faster even than that – ensuring it will have the pace to keep up with its German rivals straight out the box.
If you're keen to hear more, you've a bit of a wait: Polestar won't reveal its full launch plans until the autumn. But it sounds like exciting things are afoot.