Spinning off its Polestar performance division into a separate brand, Volvo’s first Polestar car will be the Polestar 1; a luxurious 2+2 coupé which can travel 93 miles on pure electric power before switching to gas – giving it the longest range of any plug-in hybrid vehicle to date.
By John Coulter, Current EV CMO
The Polestar 1 will use a 4-cylinder engine mated to two electric motors which will produce 600hp and 738 lb-ft of torque; large performance numbers by anyone’s standards. The turbocharged 2.0-litre engine powering the front wheels and a starter-motor generator and 2 electric motors powering the rear wheels will provide a 0 to 62mph time of just over 4 seconds.
To enhance performance, the Polestar 1 has an Ohlins-designed active suspension that can be configured by the driver. Polestar claims the suspension can react to changes in the road surface in less than two milliseconds. The car’s 34kWh battery allows it to run for 80 zero-emission miles at motorway speeds.
Volvo hasn’t quoted MSRPs yet but industry experts say the PHEV will start at around $155,000. You can purchase the car outright, or lease it via a three-year subscription, with a monthly payment that covers insurance and maintenance. At the end of three years, Volvo will replace the car with a new one.
Polestar is the Volvo Cars performance company and brand, based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Polestar develops electric performance cars, and offers performance hardware upgrades and engine software optimizations for certain Volvo models via its Polestar Engineered division. In June 2017, Volvo announced Polestar would begin producing high-end electric performance cars under its own name and badge, to compete with brands such as Tesla. Polestar also functions as an innovation lab for the Volvo Car Group, developing designs and technologies of a more experimental nature.
Inspired by Volvo's Concept Coupé, which was introduced in 2013 and has influences from the legendary Volvo P1800, the Polestar 1 will be built at a rate of 500 to 600 units per year in a new purpose-built Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China. It will be the only PHEV produced by Polestar, which has indicated its two subsequent vehicles – a mid-sized BEV named the Polestar 2, and a larger SUV-style BEV named the Polestar 3 – will be pure electrics.
The Polestar 2 and 3 will be priced far less than the Polestar 1. The Polestar 2, a Tesla Model 3 rival, will cost around $55,000, with a Launch Edition priced at around $63,000. The Polestar 3 will be the brand’s first large volume vehicle. It will start around $45,000.
The Polestar 1 relies heavily on Volvo’s styling and design. It’s a slightly shorter version than Volvo’s S90 T8 saloon car, but the grille and Thor’s Hammer headlights are very similar to what’s on the front of the newest Volvo models. Inside, the dashboard arrangement, large portrait touchscreen, gear selector and air vents resemble what’s in Volvo cabins, which are considered to be some of the smartest and most comfortable auto interiors available. That’s not to say the car doesn’t offer a unique design identity of its own. It does, with a carbon fiber wing on the décor that defines the instrument panel; an integrated Bowers and Wilkins sound system; elaborate interior lighting welcoming passengers into the vehicle; and intricate leather seat detailing that provides a high performance/luxury sensibility.
It comes with a fixed panoramic glass roof that extends across the length and width of the vehicle. Integrated seamlessly, it offers an unobstructed overhead view. A leather-clad console is integrated into the roof; it provides vehicle functions and is illuminated with the new Polestar logo. Both the interior and exterior of the car can be customized according to driver preferences before each car is made.
Polestar's premiere vehicle is an example of world-class engineering that relies on high-grade components and the very best of uncompromised Scandinavian design. Powerfully-sculpted exterior surfaces are combined with state-of-the-art performance technology and a luxurious interior.
The high-performance luxury PHEV is Polestar’s summation of Volvo’s best innovations. The Polestar 1 not only stands on its own; it’s a powerful symbol of what’s to come, and an ardent statement of the company’s intention to get super serious about the Electric Vehicle Evolution/Revolution. Polestar stands at the front of where e-Mobility is headed.