Volvo, it should come as little surprise, is getting serious about its Polestar performance line. And now it could get some extra help from one of the best in the business – at least as far as chassis tuning is concerned.
The assistance could come from Lotus, which (in addition to making its own lightweight sports cars) has a long and distinguished history of providing its expertise in suspension set-up for other automakers’ products, from the Vauxhall Carlton and Isuzu Impulse to the Aston Martin DB9 and Nissan GT-R. But Volvo may not be an “other automaker” for very long.
Those who’ve been following the news will likely have noticed that Chinese automaker Geely is gearing up to take over (at least part of) Lotus along with its parent company Proton via a new deal with Malaysian concern DRB-HICOM. Among its other assets, Geely also owns Volvo, and is widely credited with the Swedish automaker’s recent resurgence and product rollout.
Lotus’ expertise “would be appreciated,” Volvo vehicle dynamics engineer Roger Wallgren told Australian website Drive. “”I don’t see any problem using their knowledge.i think it is pretty applicable all over the board,” said Wallgren. “Lotus Engineering is pretty big.” That’s hardly a confirmation of things to come, but certainly leaves the door open to the possibility of Lotus contributing to the performance dynamics of future Volvo performance models especially. It wouldn’t be the first time, after all, with Lotus having previously designed the suspension for the Volvo 480 hatchback in the mid-1980s.
Volvo brought its longtime tuning partner Polestar in-house just a couple of years ago, producing an ever-expanding and improving line of performance models. Arguably chief among them is the S60 Polestar (and its V60 wagon counterpart) which was just revealed to have set a blistering Nürburgring lap time of 7:51.1, making it the fastest four-door around the Nordschleife until Alfa Romeo pipped it with the Giulia Quadrifoglio.
With new products rolling out from Gothenburg all the time, enthusiasts are anticipating a new generation of Polestar performance variants to take on the likes of Audi Sport, BMW M, and Mercedes-AMG. Lotus tuning could give it the leg-up it needs to distinguish itself from the competition.