Early this year, Volvo Cars announced that Polestar will no longer be its performance arm. Instead, Polestar is now a standalone brand which will only make electric performance vehicles from its brand new manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China. Here’s their first model, a stop-gap from the all-electric powertrains, a 592bhp hybrid. Say hello to the Polestar 1.
You want to know how serious they were about this one? Check out the teaser trailer they released earlier:
Now, back to the car and what a beauty she is. There are very few edges along its body, with thor-hammer headlights and aero elements on the front to show its sportscar pedigree. Around the back, there are the Volvo-esque taillights and scary-looking quad-exhausts. In place of the Volvo badge which if we’re honest is also slightly representative of being unexciting, is the cool and crisp looking star of Polestar. The brand is no longer a little blue badge, the mark of a sleeper-car performance-Volvo. They’ve joined the big boys now. They are makers of sportscars.
This 2+2 sports coupe is a plug-in hybrid that utilises a pair of electric motors with a total output of 215bhp on the rear axle, and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine for a combined output of 592bhp and a face-bending 1000Nm of torque. All the power gets sent to all four wheels which leads us to suspect a 0-100kph time in about 3 seconds, maybe less. There’s torque vectoring too for proper hoonery. In pure EV-mode Polestar claims a rather useful range of 150km in RWD mode only.
There is still a decent amount of Volvo in this grand tourer. To start with, it is based on the same SPA architecture that underpins the S90 but it is a lot shorter and about 50 per cent of the parts are new and bespoke, built by Polestar’s own boffins. Its carbon fibre body means it’s lighter too, by about 230kgs, offsetting the battery weight and it also improves stiffness. It’s still a sizeable car with considerable mass, and that’s why it uses an Akebono braking system with 400mm discs. That’s McLaren P1 stuff. It’s also got an all-new Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) setup to actively adjust to road conditions to offer the best ride quality. The interior is rebranded but is taken wholesale from the S90 which also makes it a rather wonderful place to be in.
While the production models will be available from 2019, don’t mistake this for a concept. This is the final form and only 500 Polestar 1s will be built in total. You can order one now…but you can’t own one, not in the traditional sense. Instead, every single Polestar will be sold online only, via a monthly subscription or a two-to-three year contract. The company hasn’t yet announced any figures for the no-deposit-flat-rate which will include insurance, maintenance and as a bonus, access to other Volvo models.
There’s some information on the other, all-electric, Polestar models that we can expect and it seems like they are going for a simple and straightforward nomenclature (*cough* Audi). The Polestar 2 which is scheduled for late 2019 will be a saloon that will be “joining the competition around the Tesla Model 3”. Following the two and expected to be less volume intensive vehicle than the saloon will be the Polestar 3 which is reported to be a larger, SUV-styled EV.
While we wait for more details, do take a closer look at the gorgeous Polestar 1 in the gallery below: