The all-new Volvo XC90 R-Design

Polestar’s chief operating officer has told Autocar UK that his Swedish performance tuning outfit, now owned by Volvo, is considering the possibility of a hot XC90 Polestar model.

“Everything is possible,” said Niels Moller, the COO of Polestar. “SUVs are hip. People really like them as urban cruisers, so why not have an XC car that can go on the track as well?” he continued. Is the Swedish brand been mad enough to go building a BMW X5 M hunter? It sure looks like it.

Beyond just the XC90, Moller also explained that his team is currently focused on how they can deliver a Polestar version for each model in Volvo’s range. “If I don’t see a business case on each and every model, I will not do it. Right now, we are taking the full range of Volvo’s portfolio and thinking about how we could position a Polestar version,” he said.

One of the many goals for the Polestar man at the moment is obviously to unlock the full potential of the Drive-E engines, primarily the 2.0 litre super-, turbocharged four-pot. The high-performance 2.0 unit would then succeed the 350 hp/500 Nm 3.0 litre inline-six turbo engine used in the only two existing Polestar-engineered models at the moment, the S60 sedan and V60 estate.


No expected performance figures were revealed, but Moller did mention that the new high-performance Polestar engine would be, “as strong or even stronger” than the current mill used in the Polestar S60/V60.

Currently, the most powerful Volvo on the market is the XC90 T8 Twin Engine PHEV we only just drove in Sweden. Equipped with a Drive-E 2.0 litre four-pot and an electric motor, the total system output for the flagship SUV is rated at 407 hp and 640 Nm of torque.

Could the XC90 Polestar model top that? We sure look forward to the possibility, but don’t forget that Polestar-tuned models aren’t all about power figures — they are also equipped with a lot of chassis tuning upgrades which turn them into proper track-ready vehicles.

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But while hybrid power is clearly an area to explore, Moller also stressed the importance of environmental developments. “With the new engine, weight will be reduced and power will increase, but there will be nearly half the CO2 emissions,” he said.

Likewise, the new Polestar hybrid performance models will not focus on things like electric driving range, channeling energy towards hard acceleration and top speed instead, all in the name of going BMW X5M hunting.

Alongside the development of future Polestar models, don’t forget that Volvo is itself working on a Tesla-fighter for the future, one that it says will be a high-performance model with a claimed range of 523 km, offering the same top-tier safety features as typically available on all Volvos. The project will be based on the brand’s SPA platform, which also underpins the XC90, S90, V90, and other 60-Series models.