Racing means pushing things to the extreme – components, drivers, philosophy. That is why things like disc brakes, stability control and advanced suspension are not only a reality on the circuits but something you will also find in the car you drive to work every day. From the lessons, we learn and the results we get from countless hours of development, we’re not only creating a racing car that lets us clock the fastest lap time possible, but also the foundation to an every-day performance car in the form of the Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar.
Polestar was founded in 1996 under the name Flash Engineering, by racing driver Jan ”Flash” Nilsson. The mission was to run the factory Volvo team in the inaugural Swedish Touring Car Championship season. Success was imminent as ”Flash” secured the STCC title behind the wheel of a Volvo 850 Super Touring.
As the team’s sole driver, Jan ”Flash” Nilsson secured a second straight STCC title in the Volvo 850 Super Touring, despite tougher opposition from BMW, Ford and Opel.
The Volvo S40 model was introduced for the 1998 season, and the team expanded to two cars with Jens Edman joining Jan ”Flash” Nilsson at the season mid-point. The team also made its international debut with “Flash” taking part in one race weekend of the Championnat de France de Supertourisme where he won the race.
1999 was a tough season for the team with Jan ”Flash” Nilsson crashing mid-season and being forced to sit out one race weekend. The team managed to fight back with Jens Edman finishing fourth overall and ”Flash” fifth, despite the crash.
The team moved from Halmstad to Karlstad in Sweden ahead of the 2000 season. Reigning STCC champion and future DTM champion Mattias Ekström joined Polestar as team mate to Jan ”Flash” Nilsson, finishing third overall after a close season finale.
The 2001 STCC season saw Jens Edman back as team mate to Jan ”Flash” Nilsson, with ”Flash” finishing second overall. The team took part in two races of the European Touring Car Championship, with “Flash” recording seventh as his best individual result. The one-make series Volvo S60 Challenge was introduced in Sweden.
Edward Sandström joined Jan ”Flash” Nilsson for the 2002 STCC season, the last with the Super Touring regulations and the Volvo S40 model. ”Flash” finished second overall in the championship after another intense season of fighting with arch-rival and Audi driver Roberto Colciago.
The Volvo S60 model was introduced for the 2003 STCC season, marking the first season with the new FIA S2000 regulations. This meant the start of a new technical development project to develop the Volvo S60 S2000 version for racing in Sweden.
Christian Dahl took over as sole owner of the company during the second half of 2004 as Jan “Flash” Nilsson sold his part of the company. Robert Dahlgren was signed as driver for the STCC.
The company changed name to Polestar, a name chosen by Christian Dahl to represent the frozen north of Sweden, while also playing on the connection to pole position and a star of racing. Edward Sandström joined Robert Dahlgren in the STCC program.
Polestar moved to new facilities in Gothenburg that included engine development facilities, making the company independent on race car development. Alexander Storckenfeldt joined Robert Dahlgren in the STCC.
Polestar developed a new bio-ethanol race engine for the STCC program, becoming one of the world’s first race teams to compete with the environmentally friendly fuel. Robert Dahlgren and Alexander Storckenfeldt continued as drivers.
Polestar was assigned to develop the new Volvo C30 model for racing ahead of the 2008 season, marking the company’s first complete engineering project. Robert Dahlgren and Tommy Rustad were contracted as drivers for the debut STCC.
Polestar broke several records in this STCC season with the Volvo C30. Robert Dahlgren and Tommy Rustad claimed all pole positions (a record still standing today) and claimed both the drivers’ and team title. Another important step was taken with Polestar becoming the official Performance partner of Volvo, with Polestar Performance Optimisation making its debut for regular Volvo road cars with turbo engines.
Robert Dahlgren and Tommy Rustad continued as drivers for the STCC campaign and secured the team title for the second year in succession. Dahlgren secured the drivers’ title of the inaugural Scandinavian Touring Car Cup 2010 also saw the first ever road car from Polestar being constructed in the form of the Volvo C30 Polestar Concept.
Polestar took the international step out full-time by entering a re-designed Volvo C30 in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. Part of the project was to develop a racing engine based on the next generation of Volvo Drive-E engines, an engine which proved to be one of the strongest in the championship.
Polestar entered four Volvo S60s in the newly formed 2012 TTA – Racing Elite League in Sweden with drivers Rustad, Dahlgren, Fredrik Ekblom and Björk. The final result was a record breaking Grand Slam with all three titles.
Introduction of Polestar’s first production model in the form of the Volvo S60 Polestar. It was launched in a limited edition of 100 cars for the Australian market as an evaluation for future expansion. The racing success for Polestar continued in 2013 as Björk secured a dominating STCC title.
Another milestone was reached in 2014 with the Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar being launched on eight markets around the world. Björk with teammate Ekblom secured the STCC team title. Polestar also made its V8 Supercars debut in style with driver Scott McLaughlin.
Volvo Cars purchases the performance division of Polestar in July 2015, making it the new performance brand of Volvo Cars. The racing division of the company continued under the ownership of Christian Dahl and with the new name - Cyan Racing.
The new evolution of the Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar was unveiled. Thed Björk claimed the maiden WTCC victory for Polestar Cyan Racing and Volvo and on Swedish home turf racing circuits there was success as well with Richard Göransson securing a record-breaking fourth consecutive double STCC title.
2017 sees continued production of the 1500 new evolution Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar, launched last year, and the Polestar Cyan Racing team raising their ambition for the FIA World Touring Car Championship programme to claim the World Title.