Swedish carmaker Volvo has been widely known for providing Scandinavian-flared upscale vehicles with a high level of safety – with an emphasis on providing smart cars for smart people.
The past decades have not been easy for the Swedish brand, which has been traded across the continents from American to Chinese ownership – yet somehow they managed to retain their heritage and even provide such meaningful surprises of having the Volvo XC60 the best selling crossover in its class in Europe.
Volvo has been parented by Chinese behemoth Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and while early insights spoke of cultural clashes, the brand has been on an upwards trend. But that could change, because Volvo has decided to jump into the high-performance bandwagon. That’s even though the company has a history of being prone to safety – they did introduce half a century ago the seatbelt – and most recent they also went greener with a technical approach that shun away the larger six and eight-cylinder engines in favor of sleeker, more fuel efficient four cylinders, assisted by turbocharging.
The reason for acquiring performance manufacturer Polestar is simple – they want to fight the dominating German luxury brands BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. And they are also leveling the playing field with other second tier pursuers – Lexus, Infiniti and even Cadillac. But German heritage is as much about going fast (those Autobahns are in their DNA) as is Swedish heritage for Volvo’s safety approach. Where do the two marry and have a loving relationship for the years to come? We’ll just have to wait and see.
A brief summary of the most important facts and figures about Volvo’s Polestar:
- the company was founded in 1996 – so it’s quite new compared to BMW’s M that was created in 1972
- founded by Jan ”Flash” Nilsson
- Volvo C30 Polestar Concept introduced for the first time in 2010
- 2011 – Polestar starts to offer performance optimization for the T6 engine > 329 hp – the most powerful Volvo car ever
- 2012 – Volvo S60 Polestar Concept is unveiled – this time with 508 hp
- 2013: First Polestar model hits the market – the S60 Polestar
- 2014: Polestar is becoming the first partner for Volvo to be included in the production process