VOLVO will spin its high-performance Polestar badge off as a separate brand that will focus on high-end electrified sports cars, the Swedish car maker has announced.
That includes dumping the traditional blue-coloured square Polestar patch that more highly strung Volvos have worn in the past, and replacing it with a new design (pictured, above) that gives the brand a more premium look, but a less sport-honed feel.
While not exactly setting itself up as a Tesla beater, Volvo’s move appears to reinvent Polestar as a performance brand with a strong environmental focus, tapping into its petrol-electric hybrid technology that is already rolling out across the brand.
“Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has announced that Polestar, its performance car arm, is to become a new separately branded electrified global high performance car company, marking the latest stage in Volvo’s ongoing transformation,” the company said in a statement.
“Polestar will be a credible competitor in the emerging global market for high performance electrified cars,” it said. “With Polestar, we are able to offer electrified cars to the world’s most demanding, progressive drivers in all market segments.”
“Polestar will enjoy specific technological and engineering synergies with Volvo Cars and benefit from significant economies of scale as a result of its connection to Volvo.
“These synergies will allow it to design, develop and build world-beating electrified high performance cars.
The Swedish car maker has named design senior vice-president Thomas Ingenlath (pictured, above) as the head of its new performance division, acquired by Volvo in 2015 after a decades-long relationship with the Polestar brand as a specialist motorsport team and tuning house.
Ingenlath, a former director of exterior design at Volkswagen, was responsible for developing Volvo’s next generation of cars based on the scalable modular architecture that has so far spawned the XC90, S90 and V90 range.
He has also headed up the program that has developed Volvo’s compact modular architecture that will underpin a new generation of smaller Volvo-badged cars, including a future S40 sedan and V40 wagon, and an SUV.
Geely, Volvo’s Chinese owners, have also spawned a separate premium brand named Lynk & Co that will draw on the Swedish brand’s premium focus to roll out at least four new compact luxury vehicles. Positioned as a half-step between Geely and Volvo, the Lync & Co range will initially sell in China from late this year before expanding to North America and Europe sometime next year.
The move will position Geely as one of the most progressive car makers globally, preparing itself for a global push towards more fuel-efficient vehicles as authorities roll out even more strict emissions standards.