The transition from building race cars in cooperation with a manufacturer to building street cars under said manufacturer’s banner is a delicate dance, and one in which both parties must find a happy medium between street car and race car, between tango and twerking. It’s not without its proven examples, though. BMW’s “M” Division was originally ran as its own company, building race cars in the 1970′s before transitioning into the street car business. Mercedes didn’t wholly own its performance division, AMG, until 2005 (though they did purchase the controlling shares way back in 1999). Yes, other manufacturers, such as Ford and Cadillac offer performance variants of their models, but none do it so well or so profitably as AMG and M.
Enter Polestar, a small company of just 35 people based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Though it existed for several years prior, Polestar, the official racing partner of Volvo, only came into being as we know it in 2005, campaigning several Volvo sedans and hatchbacks in the Swedish Touring Car Championship as well as the World Touring Car Championship to this day. Back in 2010, Polestar decided it was time to build street cars.
Three years later, and I find myself in the driveway of Hackeberga Sloot, a manor house on a lake in southern Sweden, looking at their first-ever production vehicle, the S60 Polestar, and I’ve got two full days to drive the wheels off it, both on the street and the track.