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Volvo buys tuner Polestar to develop plug-in hybrid performance cars

Volvo has announced it has purchased Polestar, an independent tuner that specializes in turning the Swedish automaker’s professor-friendly luxury cars into AMG-fighting hot rods.

Simply put, the purchase means that more performance-focused Volvos are coming. Volvo believes it will sell about 750 examples of the Polestar-tuned V60 and S60 models this year, but it predicts the number will go up to about 1,500 in the medium-term future.

Although Volvo hasn’t revealed exactly how it plans on doubling sales, persistent rumors indicate that a sport-focused version of the Golf-sized V40 hatchback is on its way. Sources close to Volvo have previously hinted the V40 Polestar could benefit from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that will use both a turbocharger and a supercharger to generate over 300 horsepower. An automatic transmission will send power to all four wheels via a Haldex-type all-wheel drive system, the same setup found in the Golf R.

Interestingly, Volvo has confirmed that it has given Polestar immediate access to its gas-electric plug-in hybrid technology. Polestar will tweak both the gasoline-burning engine and the electric motor to squeeze as much power out of the drivetrain as possible while still keeping gas mileage in check.

The Gothenburg-based automaker has made it clear that it isn’t interested in following Mercedes-AMG’s lead and chasing all-out volume, but it wants to gradually expand the scope of its newly acquired Polestar sub-brand.

“Driving a Volvo Polestar is a special experience. We have decided to bring this experience to more Volvo drivers, placing the full resources of Volvo behind the development of Polestar as the model name for our high-performance cars,” said Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson in a statement.

Although an official time frame for when the next Polestar-tuned Volvo will land was not provided, it’s safe to assume it’s not going to arrive until next year at the earliest. The V40 Polestar won’t be sold in the United States, but subsequent models based on either the S60, the S90 (which will soon replace the S80) or the second-gen XC90 will undoubtedly join the company’s lineup on our shores.

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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