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Polestar Goes Electric, Wants To Be Volvo’s Answer To AMG

In addition to building souped-up versions of standard Volvo models, Polestar will create their own electric performance cars.

Volvo’s Polestar S60 and V60 are serious contenders in the performance luxury sedan—and wagon!—market. But Polestar will soon start taking a different path in addition to their Volvo tuning duties. Auto Express reports that later this year we will see Polestar’s first electric performance car, the first in a range of similar vehicles, all of which will be sold independently from Volvo under the Polestar name.

Parent company Geely reportedly seeks to create a full lineup of brands to rival the Volkswagen Group, with Volvo being the luxury brand, Polestar being the sporty brand, and the recently announced Lynk & Co. making cars for the masses. Geely will remain the brand name of choice in their homeland of China.

In recent years, Volvo has been taking serious steps to re-invent themselves from their earlier “boxy but good” reputation. No longer the box they came in, modern Volvos are fine looking automobiles, retaining just enough of their previous styling to make them recognizable and unique. In 2015, Volvo acquired the performance division of Polestar, which had already been souping up Volvos on their own and in partnership with the automaker. 

If this story sounds familiar, it’s because Mercedes acquired tuner AMG the same way. Geely wants to give Polestar the same treatment, including Polestar branded cars, similar to AMG’s GT S Coupe. But giving Polestar responsibility for electric sports cars sounds more like the BMW i8 than an AMG. And even BMW put that car under their electric “i” brand, rather than their M performance division. Geely seems to be showing the world that Polestar is a serious performance brand through their collaborations with Volvo, then unleashing Polestar’s own electric models to build on that reputation.

Details are scarce on exactly what these Polestar models will be like. Will they be hybrid or electric sport sedans based strongly on the Volvos they have worked on before? Or will they be more like the BMW i8, or the Tesla Roadster? With Geely’s recent acquisition of Lotus, some big upgrades may be in store for both Volvo and Polestar.