Volvo has confirmed that its Polestar performance division will run as a standalone brand. The brand will launch a range of high performance electric vehicles – none of which will carry the Volvo logo.
No details have been given as to the first Polestar products to be launched, although the timing of the announcement and the accompanying picture of what is believed to be the brand's logo on a car suggests a Frankfurt motor show launch in September is possible.
Suggesting that Polestar's cars will be heavily based on existing Volvo models rather than pure standalone vehicles, a Volvo statement said: "Polestar will enjoy specific technological and engineering synergies with Volvo Cars and benefit from significant economies of scale as a result of its connection to Volvo. These synergies will allow it to design, develop and build world beating electrified high performance cars."
However, Volvo and parent company Geely's investment in two flexible platform architectures for all its large and small cars does raise the possibility of it developing heavily bespoke models for Polestar. Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, hinted to our sister publication Autocar UK that the first cars from Polestar would come from its large vehicle line, suggesting the 60 or 90 range of models.
In a further move that bucks industry convention and underlines just how keen the company is to differentiate itself from rival companies such as BMW's M division, Audi's RS offshoot or Mercedes-AMG, Thomas Ingenlath, formerly senior vice president - design at Volvo, will become chief executive officer at Polestar.
"Thomas heading up the Polestar organisation shows our commitment to establishing a truly differentiated standalone brand within the Volvo Car Group," said Samuelsson.
Furthermore, Ingenlath will be joined at Polestar by Jonathan Goodman, who becomes chief operating officer having been senior vice president corporate communication at Volvo Cars.
Polestar was established as the motorsport arm of Volvo in 1996, and was bought by Volvo Cars July 2015. As well as creating Polestar cars under its own name, it will also sell performance packages for Volvo Cars under the 'Polestar Engineered' name.