Hot Volvo Polestar division becomes standalone brand

To take on BMW M and Mercedes-AMG with a fully-electrified range

Polestar logoFuture high-performance Volvos are to carry only Polestar branding and all of them will be electrified, the Swedish firm has today announced. Volvo designer Thomas Ingenlath will become CEO, with Brit Jonathan Goodman as its COO.  

The announcement is a significant development for Polestar, which to now has largely been a performance add-on brand for Volvo cars: Polestar Engineered power-boost packs are available on many mainstream Volvos.

Now, it wants to get serious, and take on the might of BMW M and Mercedes-AMG. Branding the fast cars purely as Polestars will give the firm more marketing freedom without the restrictions of the Volvo brand: already Volvo Cars president Hakan Samuelsson is talking about Polestar becoming “a truly differentiated stand-alone brand within the Volvo Car Group”. 

Samuelsson says the economies-of-scale synergies with Volvo will give Polestar freedom to ‘design, develop and build world-beating electrified high performance cars’. 

The decision to give every Polestar an electrified drivetrain makes it unique; a fully electric model is still some way off, but plug-in hybrid technology will give serious performance while still maintaining decent green credentials. Volvo already sells a plug-in hybrid S90 T8, for example, which blends 48g/km CO2 emissions with 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds. 

Expect Polestar upgrades to significantly build upon this. 

“I am really excited to take up the challenge of establishing this exciting brand,” said Ingenlath, “developing a fabulous portfolio of bespoke products and channelling the passion we have throughout the Polestar team. The next chapter in Polestar’s history is just beginning.” 

Emphasising the management clout Goodman will bring, Samuelsson said “Jonathan is ideally placed to provide operational experience alongside Thomas’s vision, building on the experienced management team that will drive the Polestar brand forwards.

“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.” 

It won’t be long before we find out what Polestar has planned next, either: the firm has today said a big announcement about its future products will be made in the autumn. Time to add Polestar to the list if you’re in the market for a BMW M, Audi RS or Mercedes-AMG? 

More Volvo news on Motoring Research


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Richard Aucock
Richard is director at Motoring Research. He has been with us since 2001, and has been a motoring journalist even longer. He won the IMCO Motoring Writer of the Future Award in 1996 and the acclaimed Sir William Lyons Award in 1998. Both awards are run by the Guild of Motoring Writers and Richard is currently chairman of the world's largest organisation for automotive media professionals. Richard is also a juror for World Car Awards and the UK juror for the AUTOBEST awards.


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