Polestar is an offshoot manufacturer from Volvo that specializes in hybrid and fully electric luxury vehicles. As a brand, it's quite new — it officially debuted in the United States with its 2020 Polestar 1.

But its previous history as a Volvo performance tuner goes back much further.

It originally came to be as an independent race team fielding modified Volvos in the late aughts for the Swedish Touring Car Championship. From there, Polestar turned its eye to producing specially tuned versions of Volvo's road cars. Volvo officially purchased Polestar in 2015.

Our first look at Polestar's prowess came in the 2015 Volvo S60 and V60, which featured limited-production Polestar variants at the highest trim level. More power, manually adjustable suspension dampers, upgraded brakes and Polestar's signature powder-blue paint scheme set these models apart from their more pedestrian siblings. Polestar-tuned versions of Volvo's vehicles continue to this day.

Yet Volvo wanted Polestar to be more than just a sub-brand, and it decided to make it a stand-alone entity with a focus on automotive electrification.

The first vehicle off the production line is the aptly named Polestar 1. Under this coupe's hood is a supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is paired to a plug-in hybrid powertrain. With more than 600 horsepower on tap, the Polestar 1 faces off against some of the most exotic metal on the planet — including the BMW M8, Aston Martin Vantage and Audi R8 — while offering nearly 60 miles of electric-only range.

The company's first fully electric car, the Polestar 2, debuted soon after to duel with luxury EVs including the Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model 3. With a sedan body style and a price tag roughly one-third of its stablemate, the Polestar 2 is a more accessible and practical vehicle. And it's the one that currently represents the core of Polestar's lineup.

Polestar is also developing a production version of its Precept concept luxury sedan. We expect it to slot above the Polestar 2 in terms of price and size. And given the popularity of SUVs, we wouldn't put it past Polestar to develop an electrified crossover SUV of its own over the next few years.

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