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Watch out, AMG: Volvo gets hotter with Polestar purchase
Performance Volvos abound, we hope, as the Swedish firm buys up its sporty sub-division
Volvo’s Polestar sub-division has been threatening to stamp on the toes of Merc’s AMG and BMW’s M Division for a few years now. And today the Swedish firm has been acquired in its entirety by Volvo, which can only be good news for our chances of seeing a bigger range of luridly blue performance cars.
“Polestar will now be used as the model name for special high performance Volvos,” the Swedish carmaker tells us, saying all existing Polestar workers will now become Volvo employees.
Future performance Volvos, we’re told, will be powered by the company’s ‘twin engine electrification technology’, the Swedes’ swanky name for the plug-in hybrid tech that sees a 2.0-litre engine and electric motor combination produce 394bhp in top spec XC90s.
Clearly, Volvo sees potential for performance hybrids and, given the modest size of the combustion engine involved, something that should easily fit in cars smaller than its behemoth SUV.
Polestar has been working with Volvo in motorsport since 1996, and in recent years it has extracted extra performance from the company’s road cars via both optional tuning chips and special edition models.
Of the latter, only the S60 and V60 Polestars have made full production. We only get the V60 in the UK, but it’s a cracking thing, and defiantly esoteric compared to rival Audis, Mercs and BMWs.
As such, the potential for much more of this sort of stuff – especially with increasingly muscular and clever drivetrains – is one we like a lot. Earlier this year, Volvo’s UK boss Nick Connor told us he’d like a V40 Polestar to ruffle up the hot hatch elite.
“I would like to see a V40 Polestar,” said Connor. “I think there’s a clear demand for that, and we’ve seen what Mercedes have done with the A-Class AMG. But it’s got to be at the right price. It’s not cheap to engineer small volume cars of that nature.”
We concur, and while Connor reckoned there would only ever be room for a couple of Polestar models in the range, Volvo will surely end up wanting to extract more value from this week’s purchase.
So over to you: which cars should Volvo turn the wick up on? An XC90 to rival the BMW X5M, perchance?