Polestar, the high-performance brand under Volvo Cars, is more than tripling the number of markets where its specialty vehicles are sold from 13 to 47 and doubling production volume.
But even with that increase, production numbers for 2017 will be tiny. The company says it will make up to 1,500 Polestar versions of the 2017 S60 sedan and V60 wagon. And that’s globally.
“It’s an exclusive car,” Lex Kerssemakers, president and CEO of Volvo Car USA said Thursday at the LA Auto Show.
The company will only bring 200 to 250 of these vehicles to the United States, Kerssemakers said, adding that the most popular variant of this car is the V60, the sport wagon.
The Chinese-owned Swedish automaker acquired Polestar Performance in 2015 for its racing history and experience of making cars for the racetrack, Kerssemakers said. Volvo did not buy the racing division of Polestar Performance.
“Are we going to make race cars in Volvo? No we are not,” he said. “But we’re going to use that technology, that heritage, that experience to simply make better road cars— a better car which you can use 365 days a year.
The first road legal Polestar cars were launched in 2014 to limited markets.
The new Polestar versions are 53 pounds lighter over the front axle and 44 pounds lighter in total compared to the previous model years, according to the company.
The automaker took the original two-liter Drive-E engine from its standard V60 and S60 models and added a bigger turbo, a supercharger, new conrods, new camshafts, a larger air intake, and a higher capacity fuel pump to augment the engine. The vehicles also have a BorgWarner four-wheel drive system and a new Polestar-optimized eight-speed Geartronic automatic gearbox.
The 2017 Polestar vehicles will be the ones to have the Drive E 4-cylinder engine as the company moves towards electrification.