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Many Volvo diehards weren’t overly happy with the announcement that the Polestar performance brand would be reimagined as a dedicated electric vehicle company.
It’s certainly hard to blame them. Polestar was a staple of the touring car scene, and while they still live on in the way of Cyan Racing and the Lynk & Co TCR program, it’s sad to see them no longer racing its familiar blue Volvos.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Volvo’s and Polestar’s parent company, Geely, obviously cares about speed and performance and seems intent on pumping out exciting, attractive EVs under the Polestar moniker.
This week, Polestar announced it will be significantly expanding its research and development capacity with the establishment of a new R&D centre in the United Kingdom for electric performance vehicles. The new facility will employ around 60 specialty engineers, who will “specifically support the development of future Polestar cars, beyond Polestar 3.”
“Polestar’s role as a technology spearhead requires new and developing skills in low-volume, light-weight, multi-material performance car engineering, and the new UK operation will allow us to take the next steps towards our future cars,” said the company’s head of research and development Hans Pehrson.
We like what Hans is saying there. It almost sounds as if Polestar wants to position itself as the Lotus of EVs – pumping out light, fun-to-drive products for enthusiasts. Whether or not said enthusiasts will be able to afford them is a question for another day.
Polestar’s first model, the Polestar 1, will arrive for the 2020 model year. It features a lightweight carbon fiber body and an all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid powertrain that is good for a maximum output of 600 horsepower and 737 lb-ft. It will be built at Polestar’s new production facility in China.