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Volvo's Polestar looks to electric power. Image by Polestar.

Volvo's Polestar looks to electric power
High performance Polestar arm of Volvo will focus on battery power for the future.
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What's all this then? Volts not horses?

Something like that, yeah. Polestar, the high-performance arm of Volvo of which so few of us have heard, is switching its primary focus from big turbo engines to long-range, high-speed batteries and electric motors. Volvo wants its official tuners and tweakers, which it bought out in 2015, to focus on designing the next-generation of fast, silent, long-range electric cars.

Wow. So Polestar's ditching petrol altogether?

Not quite, at least not right away, but the future is definitely electric and Volvo wants its skunk works to try and get ahead of the game. Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo, will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer at Polestar. Mr Ingenlath has been the inspiration behind Volvo's award winning design renaissance in recent years. "Thomas heading up the Polestar organisation shows our commitment to establishing a truly differentiated stand-alone brand within the Volvo Car Group," said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.

Mr Ingenlath will be joined at Polestar by Jonathan Goodman, who will become Chief Operating Officer. Mr Goodman moves from his position as Senior Vice President Corporate Communication at Volvo Cars. "With 25 years of commercial experience in the automotive industry, Jonathan is ideally placed to provide operational experience alongside Thomas's vision, building on the experienced management team that will drive the Polestar brand forwards" said Mr Samuelsson. "Polestar will be a credible competitor in the emerging global market for high performance electrified cars. With Polestar, we are able to offer electrified cars to the world's most demanding, progressive drivers in all market segments."

Mr Ingenlath said: "I am really excited to take up the challenge of establishing this exciting brand, developing a fabulous portfolio of bespoke products and channelling the passion we have throughout the Polestar team. The next chapter in Polestar's history is just beginning."

They'll have to work fast though; Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar and BMW are all poised to launch sporty electric cars in the next couple of years, never mind what Tesla is up to. Polestar needs to play catch up, fast.

What about Lotus?

Good question. There was much talk when Chinese car maker Geely, which already owns Volvo, bought out Lotus just weeks ago, that there would be some collaboration between Sweden and Norfolk. Nothing more has been said, but surely someone in Gothenburg is plotting an S90-based successor to the legendary Lotus Carlton? Surely...

Neil Briscoe - 21 Jun 2017    - Volvo road tests
- Volvo news
- Polestar images

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