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Swedish Automaker and its Performance Division Officially Part Ways

Swedish Automaker and its Performance Division Officially Part Ways

Now the focus is performance EVs

Ford has SVT; Chevrolet has GM Performance Parts; Dodge has Mopar – Sadly, the world now has one less automotive pairing made in horsepower heaven. Polestar has officially become its own brand and will no longer build souped-up models for Volvo. Rather, Polestar will build high-performance electric vehicles that compete with the likes of Tesla. No hints were given as to when Polestar expects to launch its first model, what that vehicle will look like, or what its range will be.

Oddly enough, Polestar made the official announcement via an Instagram post. The minimalistic post features a black background with white font reading, “The End.” There isn’t even a description to accompany the melodramatic image. As for its corporate ownership, Polestar remains wholly owned by Geely, the same Chinese company which parents Volvo, but will no longer sit under the Volvo umbrella. Volvo’s Senior VP of Design, Thomas Ingenlath, is now Polestar’s CEO, assisted by Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Goodman, Volvo’s now-former Senior VP of Corporate Communications.

Polestar’s vision was best encapsulated in June by Volvo’s president and CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, in the company’s initial annulment of the split, saying, “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.”

The next few years will certainly be interesting for this newly hatched automaker.

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Polestar Leaves Volvo in its tracks to Ride Solo and Embark on an All-New Mission

Polestar Leaves Volvo in its tracks to Ride Solo and Embark on an All-New Mission

The separation means that Volvo’s performance division can now stand on its own

It’s a good sign that Volvo is in good standing in the automotive industry when it’s prepared to let its performance arm Polestar go out and make a name of its own, independent from the mother company. The announcement was made a few months ago, but now it’s official. Polestar has broken off from Volvo, and the new company left nothing to the imagination when it posted on Instagram an image made up of only two words: “The End.”

For those who are wondering if this is sad news, it’s not - It’s the exact opposite, actually. Say what you will about Volvo’s image as a luxury brand, but the Swedish automaker is making an aggressive move to take a piece of the performance car industry pie. When was the last time we thought of Volvo in these terms? Decades ago? Never? But this is what Volvo has become under the ownership of Chinese auto giant Geely, and it’s a wonderful thing. And as for Polestar, the newly-minted company will now focus its time and resources on developing high-performance electrified cars. There’s no word yet on what models it plans on developing, but a previous report indicated that Polestar’s first offering would be a bespoke sports car that will feature generous amounts of carbon fiber and will have a power output of around 600 horsepower. If this model does end up getting made, it would be Polestar’s initial offering to the market. For what it’s worth, never did I imagine a company with roots to Volvo roll out a car with that much power under its hood. But that’s, apparently, what we can start expecting from Polestar, which makes this news of its official separation from Volvo all the more exciting.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country By Polestar

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country By Polestar

Volvo’s wagon softroader gets a performance bump

Volvo has been making Cross Country style wagons for nearly two decades now, with the latest iteration dropping earlier this year in the form of a beefed-up V90. The formula is designed to offer an alternative to the ever-popular crossover body style, matching a high-rider stance, rugged body panels, AWD handling and grip, and plenty of luxury and tech with a spacious cabin. Now, Volvo has handed the keys over to Polestar, the Swedish brand’s dedicated performance division and racing team. Polestar has already had a crack at upgrading the new V90, blessing the five-door with a sharper throttle, quicker shifts, and a more potent engine. Rather than transforming the model into a full-blown sports car, Polestar says it “optimized” what was already there, and now, it’s doing the same thing to the V90 Cross Country softroader.

The result appears to be a nice blend of performance chops and rugged capability, all in a comfortable, wagon-fashion package. Like the optimized V90 that came before, the V90 Cross Country by Polestar sees upgrades to its throttle response, shift times, and engine output, adding just a little extra where it counts if you happen to have that performance mindset.

“Our product provides performance-oriented customers with a new level of driving pleasure,” says Niels Moller, Chief Operating Officer at Polestar. Most recently, we’ve seen Polestar’d variants of the S90 sedan and XC90, not to mention the non-cross-country V90, and this new tuned-up crossover killer looks to expand the line even further.

Intrigued? Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo V90 Cross Country By Polestar.

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2014 Volvo V40 Cross Country By Heico Sportiv

2014 Volvo V40 Cross Country By Heico Sportiv

Polestar may be the most renown company in the Volvo modifying business, but these Swedish cars have gone through many workshops for visual and performance upgrades in recent years. One of them belongs to Heico Sportiv, a German venture that has left its fingerprint on anything from the compact Volvo C30 to the full-size XC90 SUV.

More recently, though, the crew located near the city of Darmstadt has been busy turning the V40 hatchback into a more nimble machines. Using various tricks, the Germans came up with the T5 HPC and V40 "Pirelli", both outstanding in terms of performance and looks.

For 2014, Heico Sportiv decided it’s time to take the V40 Cross Country to another level and turn it into a crossover capable to take on rougher paths without losing its much appreciated driving dynamics. To achieve that goal, Heico started by raising the vehicle’s suspension by about 30 mm (1.2 inches) and designing specific shock absorbers and springs.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo V40 Cross Country By Heico Sportiv.

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2013 Heico Sportiv Volvo V40 T5 HPC

2013 Heico Sportiv Volvo V40 T5 HPC

Last month, Heico Sportiv unveiled the V40 "Pirelli" edition and now the tuner is back with the unveiling of the most powerful V40 ever. The model is based on the Cross Country variant of the V40 and aims to be an alternative for cars like BMW M135i xDrive and Mercedes A45 AMG.

The new V40 HPC is based on the S80 HPC Concept; instead of the “HPC” standing for "High Performance Concept" like on the concept version, this time the abbreviation stands for "Heico Performance Car."

The new V40 features both exterior and interior updates, but the most impressive job was made under the hood where the tuner offers two different levels of upgrades. After all the updates, the V40 can hit a top speed of 164 mph, making it the world’s fastest V40.

Click past the jump to read more about the Heico Sportiv Volvo V40 T5 HPC.

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2013 Volvo V40 "Pirelli" by Heico Sportiv

2013 Volvo V40 "Pirelli" by Heico Sportiv

Heico Sportiv and Pirelli started a close cooperation back in 2009 and this year, as a celebration of Pirelli’s centenary, the tuner created a special-edition Volvo V40 Pirelli. The car not only received updates to the exterior and interior, but also an extra 50 horsepower under the hood.

The V40 is a car that gets little attention, but somehow Heico Sportiv managed to completely change its look, making it more appealing and sportier. This doesn’t mean the tuner made tons of updates; instead, it opted to keep the exterior and interior updates to a minimum and updated only the essential parts of the V40.

The package seen here has been built on the V40 with a 1.6-liter engine, but according to the tuner, it can be applied to any model in the lineup.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo V40 "Pirelli" by Heico Sportiv.

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2010 Volvo V60 by Heico Sportiv

2010 Volvo V60 by Heico Sportiv

When you have a Volvo V60 that you’re looking to have tuned-up by an aftermarket tuning company, the first place you need to go to is Heico Sportiv. As the authorities in modified Volvos - they recently did one for the S60 luxury sedan - the auto tuning house has provided an array of packages for a number of Volvo models throughout the years. With the new 2011 Volvo V60 wagon, Heico Sportiv isn’t about to let up.

Scheduled to debut at the Essen Motor Show, Heico Sportiv gave the V60 an interior and exterior facelift that has effectively turned the V60 from plain and simple to sexy and aggressive-looking. Who would’ve thought that was possible with Volvos?

Heico Sportiv improved the V60 wagon’s exterior by introducing front spoilers made from flexible polyurethane plastic and mounted on the original bumpers, ensuring that the latest pedestrian protection guidelines are met. The same material can also be found in the rear skirt enfolding the left and right oval end-pipes of the quad outlet exhaust system. If you’re not satisfied with this, the tuning firm is also offering matching carbon or alternative stainless steel inlays and a dual-pipe exhaust variant that’s arranged in a ‘left-right’ arrangement.

The interior of the V60 gets high-grade leather on the car’s dashboard, door trims, and center console that’s complimented by aluminum add-ons on the pedal set, gear shit knob, and the footrest. Finishing off the package for the Volvo V60 is the inclusion of sport springs and a set of 18-20” VOLUTION sport wheels.

Press Release after the jump.

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2011 Volvo S60 T6 Design Special Edition by Heico Sportiv

2011 Volvo S60 T6 Design Special Edition by Heico Sportiv

After Heico Sportiv unveiled the official details on their new tuning kit for the S60 sedan, Volvo has followed right behind with their own special edition that they have developed in collaboration with that same tuner. Together they have produced the S60 T6 Design that will be built in a limited 100 units and priced at €63,968 (around $81,000 at the current exchange rates).

This special edition will come painted in Black Sapphire metallic, and distinguished by 19-inch Diamond cut alloys with Pirelli tyres, a two-part front spoiler, and a rear diffuser bumper made of superlight plastic and carbon fiber. The interior will get an aluminum trimmed gear knob and pedals along with a limited edition plate which identifies the specific production number of the car.

Under the hood the engine has been tuned to deliver 330 Hp and 460 NM of torque. The 0 to 60 mph sprint is now made in 5.8 seconds, while top speed is still electronically limited to 155 mph.

Frankly, the two kits are similar so the customer’s best bet would be to just compare prices and go with the cheapest. Hey, it pays to be frugal.

Press release after the jump.

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Volvo S60 by Heico Sportiv - official details revealed

Volvo S60 by Heico Sportiv - official details revealed

At the end of July, Heico Sportiv announced plans to create a tuning kit for the new Volvo S60. Those plans have come to fruition as the tuner has revealed the official details on this package. The tuner has updated both the car’s aerodynamics and output with the package becoming available September 5, 2010.

The exterior package includes a new front spoiler mounted on the original bumper, a PUR-R-RIM rear skirt in diffuser, and left and right oval end-pipes of the quad outlet exhaust system. The package is finished with 18-20" sport wheels.

In order to upgrade the engine’s output, the tuner is offering ECU upgrades for both D3/D5 diesel engines. For the 2.0 T engine, the tuner managed to squeeze an extra 47 HP, while the T6 has been upgraded to an impressive 330 HP. The result is a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Volvo S60 by Heico Sportiv

2010 Volvo S60 by Heico Sportiv

Heico Sportiv has unveiled the first images and official details on its program for the Volvo S60 luxury sedan. The tuner has updated both the car’s aerodynamics and output with the package becoming available September 5, 2010.

The exterior package includes a new front spoiler mounted on the original bumper, a PUR-R-RIM rear skirt in diffuser, and left and right oval end-pipes of the quad outlet exhaust system. The package is finished with 18-20" sport wheels.

The most powerful engine in the Volvo S60 line-up, the T6, delivers a total of 304 HP, so taking it to 330 HP is quite impressive. For the 2.0 T engine, the tuner managed to squeeze an extra 47 HP, while the T6 has been upgraded to an impressive 330 HP. The result is a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.

UPDATE 08/25/2010: This article has been updated with the official details on the Heico Sportiv Volvo S60 luxury sedan.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Volvo V70 T6 R-Design by Heico Sportiv

2010 Volvo V70 T6 R-Design by Heico Sportiv

Heico Sportiv is offering a special edition Volvo V70 for those customers who want a customized station wagon. It will be limited to only 100 units and will go on sale this summer in only one exterior color: sapphire black. The new Volvo V70 T6 AWD R-Design will be priced at 70,193 euro.

The Volvo is offered with a 6-cylinder straight-type turbo gasoline engine tuned to deliver 325 HP and 460 NM of torque. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph is made in 5.9 seconds, while top speed is limited to 155 mph.

The car also gets a new sport suspension, shock absorbers, and springs. The wheelbase has been lowered by 30 mm and a sport exhaust system and special trunk emblem have also been added.

The interior gets an aluminum door pin set and perfectly machined aluminum/leather gear shift knob, as well as an edition plaque for the dashboard.

Heico Sportiv is also offering an Extensive R-Design package that includes: doorsills, bumpers, and a roof spoiler that matches the car’s color. The package also comes with an exterior mirror casing in matte chrome optic, chrome applications for the fog-lamp surround, and automatic level control.

Press release after the jump.

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Video: A comprehensive walk-through of the Volvo Polestar C30

Video: A comprehensive walk-through of the Volvo Polestar C30

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Obscenely long name nothwithstanding, the Polestar Performance Volvo C30 Performance Concept Prototype is one tasty vehicle, not just because it’s been tuned up to appease the inner race car driver in all of us, but because the finished product is actually better than any of us expected given that it is, after all, a Volvo.

To make sure that we get to know the prototype racer to a tee, the folks from Volvo, together with their counterparts from Polestar Performance, have released a walk-through video of the souped-up C30. This video describes every painstaking detail of the Volvo courtesy of Derek Crabb, Volvo’s vice president of powertrain engineering and the executive director of motorsports engineering, and Christian Dahl, managing director of Polestar.

Needless to say, both men offer some pretty insightful takes on the car, most of which should give Volvo enthusiasts a taste of what it would feel like to sit behind the wheel of the tuned-up C30.

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Volvo C30 by Heico Sportiv

Volvo C30 by Heico Sportiv

Heico Sportiv specializes in tuning Volvo cars and has done so since 1997, so it isn;t surprising that they have unveiled a new customization program for the new Volvo C30. The new kit is based on accentuating the car’s design and improving driving dynamics and performance although, in Yoda terms, exhaustive in components, it is not.

The new components are simple in number. They are made in reinforced polyurethane plastic and consist of a new rear skirt with exhaust system. The exhaust is made up of 120x74 mm diameter stainless steel end pipes that are matte-polished.

The tuner is also offering an individually calibrated combination of rear valence and exhaust system – including an additional muffler and unique sound guarantee from five cylinders for the high end engines T5/D5.

Compared to previous tuned up models of the Volvo C30 by Heico Sportiv, this one is a tad on the lazy side. Not much is done to the original automobile leaving an image of an unfinished model.

Press release after the jump.

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Volvo and Polestar Racing to develop racing prototype of C30

Volvo and Polestar Racing to develop racing prototype of C30

When you think about high-performance race cars, the name ‘Volvo’ doesn’t usually pop up in discussions. As one of the world’s most conservative car brands, Volvo doesn’t really elicit thoughts of race cars the same way Ferrari or Porsche does.

Yet despite not being considered a popular racing brand, Volvo is far from being a pushover when it comes to car racing. As a matter of fact, the brand’s Swedish Touring Car Team is a defending champ in its racing league.

That being said, Volvo and its racing partner ‘Polestar Performance’ have developed a new racing prototype that’s based on the Volvo C30 with a goal of building a car that boasts just about everything a true-blooded race car driver wants on their car including performance, reliability, and speed.

The prototype C30 comes with a 400-horsepower engine, an all-wheel drive system, and aerodynamic features that were taken from race car data that came from Polestar themselves.

Robert Dahlgren, Polestar’s race and development driver, was geeked up by the thought of seeing a C30 get the full racing treatment. “We love the Volvo C30 - it’s a great car with huge potential for development with its low weight and low centre of gravity,” he said. “It’s also a fantastic road car. But now we go much further by combining the road car with cutting edge racing technology."

For those of you that are intrigued by how this Volvo C30 racing prototype comes out, you won’t have to wait long because the car is scheduled to be unveiled at the Gothenburg Motor Show in a few weeks time (April 22).

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Furniture designer creates wooden gearshift knobs for Volvo C70

Furniture designer creates wooden gearshift knobs for Volvo C70

Noted Volvo tuner Heico Sportiv found an unlikely partner in upgrading a Volvo C70 when it tied up with Thonet, a German-based contemporary furniture designer to create – of all things – special wooden gearshift knobs to be installed on the C70.

By themselves, the gearshift knobs, which are made from either oak, beech, or walnut, look nothing like the standard knobs we’ve come to expect from almost all vehicles, but we guess that’s what makes it all the more alluring.

In fact, according to Thonet, the design of the knobs was done to reflect Volvo’s noted floating center console.

Unlikely as it sounds to have a furniture design company become involved in car tuning, Thonet’s gear shift knobs actually look pretty good when you piece the whole puzzle together. It’s not too loud that it stands out like a sore thumb yet it’s not too bland that nobody will even notice something was different. It was a curious choice for Heico Sportiv to bring Thonet on board but, at the end of the day, it seemed like it was worth it.

Press Release after the jump

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Volvo C70 by Heico Sportiv

Volvo C70 by Heico Sportiv

Heico Sportiv will unveil at the Geneva Motor Show a tuning program for the Volvo C70 convertible model. The exterior package includes a front spoiler made in lightweight polyurethane plastic (PUR), a rear diffuser, 20 inch forged wheel, a dual or quad pipe stainless steel exhaust system.

The package also includes an ECU upgrade for the 2.0D and D5 versions, but there are no details yet on how the output has been modified.

Press release after the jump.

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