Volvo clearly didn’t purchase its Polestar tuning outfit for nothing – the company wants to expand high-performance offerings to include the recently revealed S90 sedan.
The Swedish marque’s good looking flagship is built on the modular SPA platform to be shared with the next-generation S60 and V60, models already slated for the Polestar treatment.
Speaking with UK car magazine Autocar this week, Volvo boss Hakan Samuelsson confirmed the company is interested in a Polestar model larger than S60.
“You could have a high-performance variant [of the S90] without leaving the brand,” he told Autocar. “You could still have a nice car with smart design and functionality, but what’s wrong with a little performance?
“Right now we have the S60 and V60 as Polestar variants, and we believe in the [Polestar] brand – that’s why we bought it. So now we’re looking at using it more on performance cars within the family.”
Volvo last year purchased 100 per cent of Polestar, formerly a Swedish tuning partner. Six cylinders or more are out of the picture as Volvo’s engine family is now four-pot only, but a hybrid powertrain will likely be a goer according to Volvo R&D chief Peter Mertens.
“Polestar will still be sophisticated performance,” Mertens told Autocar. “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.”
The most powerful drivetrain in the new Volvo line-up is in the XC90 T8, a 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine producing 235kW and 400Nm, teamed with an electric motor adding 65kW and 240Nm. It shifts the 2296kg large SUV from standstill to 100km/h in 5.6 seconds.
There will be a wagon version, too, with the forthcoming V90– big-backed twin to the S90 – tagged by Volvo UK managing director Nick Connor as potentially even more appropriate for the Polestar treatment, at least for the British market.
“I’d say a wagon is more likely for us [UK market] 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,” he explained to Autocar.