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Volvo spins Polestar off into electrified performance car brand

New cars will no longer carry the Volvo badge

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Volvo performance division Polestar has become a separate car manufacturer that will focus on electrified models.

The Swedish carmaker introduced its performance brand as an extension of its Polestar Racing team in 2012, using know-how from race engineers to increase the performance of its road cars.

However, Polestar has now been spun off into a separate entity that will produce electrified high-performance variants of Volvo’s road cars that will only wear Polestar badging. The two companies will share technologies, facilities and engineering knowledge, much like the set-up between AMG and Mercedes.

Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s former senior vice-president of design, is moving over to Polestar as CEO. He said: “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. The next chapter in Polestar’s history is just beginning.”

Polestar will reveal more details about its plans for the future later this year. However, it is clear that the focus will be on making the most of hybrid platforms in a performance context. Volvo’s model line-up currently includes a ‘twin-engine’ hybrid powertrain that uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine and an electric motor to offer impressive performance and economy.

Volvo and Polestar Performance had been working together since 1996, before Volvo Cars acquired 100% of the company in 2015.

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Darren Cassey
Darren Cassey
Articles by Darren Cassey are provided for The Car Expert by PA Media (formerly the Press Association). They include test drives of the latest new cars and features on various aspects of automotive life.