Volvo Boosts Performance Credentials With Purchase of Polestar's Tuning Division | Edmunds

Volvo Boosts Performance Credentials With Purchase of Polestar's Tuning Division

GOTHENBURG, Sweden Volvo is taking aim at the Mercedes-AMG and BMW M lineups with the purchase of Polestar's tuning division and the development of a wider range of high-performance Volvo vehicles.

The deal was announced on Tuesday.

The Polestar brand name and signature shocking "Rebel Blue" exterior paint treatment are becoming familiar to car shoppers in the U.S. thanks to Polestar versions of the Volvo V60 wagon and S60 sedan. The pair debuted at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show and rolled out in limited numbers at select Volvo dealerships here.

While the Nordic tuner is not a household name yet, it's clear that Volvo is placing a high priority on creating a sub-brand of sporty, high-performance cars.

The Volvo Polestar cars typically feature a long list of upgrades, including a more rigid structure with stiffer springs, high-performance shocks, aerodynamic elements and 20-inch Polestar wheels.

The Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar feature a 350-horsepower T6 engine. Volvo said Polestar uses performance-enhancing software to offer "increased midrange engine performance in combination with supporting changes for the gearbox and throttle response."

"Driving a Volvo Polestar is a special experience," said Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars president and chief executive, in a statement. "We have decided to bring this experience to more Volvo drivers, placing the full resources of Volvo behind the development of Polestar as the model name for our high-performance cars."

The automaker said it expects to sell 750 Polestar versions of the V60 and S60 globally in 2015. Polestar sales are forecast to increase to between 1,000 and 1,500 cars a year "in the medium term under Volvo's ownership," the company said.

Volvo has acquired Polestar Performance AB, not the racing division of the Swedish racecar maker, the company noted in a statement.

Edmunds says: Car shoppers can expect sportier treatments of Volvo cars in the near future as the Polestar name gains traction with this deal.

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