Volvo has purchased the aftermarket and tuning divisions of Polestar, in effect giving it a direct in-house competitor to BMW’s M, Mercedes-AMG and Audi’s RS.
The companies announced today that the Swedish automotive marque had completed a takeover of the Polestar brand, as well as its aftermarket parts and tuning operations. Polestar’s racing team will remain in the hands of the brand’s former owner, Christian Dahl. Although Polestar and Volvo will continue to work closely with the racing team, the competition outfit will be renamed.
Neither company has revealed the cost of the acquisition.
Volvo stated that Polestar’s next-generation vehicles “will utilise Volvo’s twin engine electrification technology” and that the new in-house performance division will continue to offer performance optimisation packages, such as the limited run V40 Carbon, in Drive-E equipped models.
In a statement, former Polestar CEO Christian Dahl said: “We are extremely satisfied with the way the performance business with Volvo has developed. But we are a racing team first and foremost. This is an opportunity to return our full attention to our core business — to develop and race Volvo cars.”
Polestar was founded in 1996 by Jan “Flash” Nilsson. Established specifically to run a factory-backed Volvo team in the Swedish Touring Car Championship, the company was then known as Flash Engineering and won the racing series at its first attempt in a Volvo 850 Super Touring sedan (above).
The company was taken over by former chief mechanic Christian Dahl in 2004 and renamed to Polestar the following year. According to Polestar, the name was chosen to recognise Sweden’s frozen north, as well as allude to the company’s desire to live on pole position and be a star performer on the racing circuit.
Polestar launched its first production car in conjunction with Volvo back in 2013, with the initial trial build of 50 S60 Polestars sold exclusively in Australia. The S60 and V60 Polestars became available in other markets from 2014.
The S60 and V60 Polestars are both powered by a 257kW/500Nm 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six engine. Coupled to the standard Haldex all-wheel drive system and six-speed automatic, the S60 Polestar is capable of a 0-100km/h time of 4.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
According to Volvo, 750 S60 and V60 Polestars will be sold this year, with sales expected to increase to between 1000 and 1500 units in the “medium term under Volvo’s ownership”.