Polestar started as a company that tuned Volvos for the Swedish Touring Car Championship, and it made some pretty incredible racing cars. Volvo was very impressed with how its cars turned out that, after years of increased connection with the tuning company, it decided to finally buy Polestar and make it Volvo’s performance division. Now that Volvo has finally taken the wrapping off of its S90 sedan, that will compete with the BMW 5 Series, it’s decided to announce that there will likely be a Polestar performance variant of the luxury car.
According to Autocar, Volvo wants to compete with its German competitors and, to do so, the Swedish brand must create a performance variant of its latest car. “You could have a high-performance variant [of the S90] without leaving the brand,” according to Volvo boss, Håkan Samuelsson. “You could still have a nice car with smart design and functionality, but what’s wrong with a little performance?”
However, Volvo wants to build the performance variant of its new cars with a bit more of a sophisticated approach and even talked about hybrid performance. “Polestar will still be sophisticated performance; it’s not just a case of doing a ‘boy racer’ by dropping a big engine in there. Hybrid power is the direction that Polestar will go in. In a way, Tesla has legitimised electric performance, although Polestar will be more sophisticated again. We want to be able to offer high performance without regrets.” Considering that the S90 T8 will use a hybrid powetrain itself, Polestar could possibly just tune that very same powertrain to eek out more power. “Polestar optimising the T8 hybrid powertrain would be very interesting,” he said. “That would present a very interesting technical solution, with the ultimate power being combined with an environmental powertrain.” According to Volvo’s UK Managing Director, Nick Conner.
There’s also the possibility of Polestar creating a performance variant of the V90 wagon. This makes sense for multiple reasons. Firstly, fast wagons are very popular in Europe, where BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have been making them for ages. Secondly, most performance Volvos of the past have been wagons, like the 850R wagon. “If you look at what Audi does with its fast wagons then it is an interesting proposition,” said Connor. “I’d say a wagon is more likely for us than a Polestar version of the S90, because we have the heritage there from our days with the 850 in the British Touring Car Championship, but we know we must get our core models right before we go out and play.”
A powerful, fast, efficient and dynamic Volvo V90 Polestar would be quite incredible and could open the door for more performance division to start looking into hybrid power as well as wagons. BMW has sort of gotten away from the fast wagon as of late, by not offering Touring variants of its M3 and M5 models. We also know that the next M5 could be all-wheel drive, which opens up the possibility of a hybrid as well. The V90 Polestar could make a big impression on BMW, Audi and Mercedes and could hopefully make its way over to the United States to make the same impression on American enthusiasts who would otherwise be too stubborn to buy a performance wagon and/or hybrid.
While the S90 and V90 Polestar might be a bit more aimed at performance luxury than cars like the BMW M5 and E63 AMG and not be exactly direct competitors but its success could absolutely have an effect on the direction in which the industry, BMW especially, goes.