Polestar 1 revealed as performance hybrid… here in mid-2019
Polestar, Volvo’s standalone performance brand, has revealed its first model, the Polestar 1, a performance hybrid it will hit the market in 2019.
THE POLESTAR 1 HAS finally been revealed. The first model from Polestar, Volvo’s now standalone performance brand, the Polestar 1 will be built at a new production facility in China and hit the market in 2019.
More than just one new model, Polestar confirmed it would produce three new models. According to Polestar, the Polestar 1 can travel up to 150km on battery power alone, featuring a 2.0-litre four-cylinder mated to two rear-axle-mounted electric motors (with torque vectoring) it offers a total output, in Power Mode, of 440-plus kilowatts and 1000Nm of torque.
At the unveiling, Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar said: “Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet. A beautiful GT with amazing technology packed into it – a great start for our new Polestar brand. All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand”.
Polestar will only build 500 Polestar 1s each year, ensuring it will be an exclusive machine and likely to carry an exclusive price tag to match. Polestar said, “All cars will be offered on a subscription basis, with customers benefitting from the convenience of a single, all-inclusive payment that can be topped up by additional on-demand services if required”.
The Polestar 1 is based upon Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) but approximately 50% is new. Polestar 1 measures 4.5m in length compared with the 5.15m of the S90. This involved removing 320mm from the wheelbase and another 200mm in the rear to create the car’s powerful, sporty proportions.
Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar, continued; “The Polestar 1 is a Performance Electric Hybrid, but with the longest pure electric range of any hybrid car in the world, we consider it an electric car with support from an internal combustion engine. All future cars from Polestar will be Electric Performance Vehicles but the Polestar 1 bridges today’s technology with the future, offering the perfect drivetrain for a Grand Touring Coupé that’s likely to be used over longer distances as well as shorter, faster, enjoyable journeys”.
To ensure the Polestar 1 handles it’s been fitted with all-new Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi), it’s the world’s first car to be fitted with this system.
Each Öhlins shock absorber is fitted with an electronic valve. The “valve constantly monitors the driver inputs and road surface conditions, reacting in two milliseconds, to immediately change the ride characteristics to the prevailing demands”. The driver can also make changes to the suspension settings within the car.
In a first for Polestar or Volvo, the major body parts of the Polestar 1 are made from carbon fibre. This makes for a 230kg body weight reduction compared with the S90 and an increase in torsional stiffness.
“Most electric cars are fast – that’s a product of the attributes of an electric motor. However, for Polestar, performance is far more holistic than just straight-line speed. It’s about acceleration, of course, but it’s also about cornering, braking, suspension control, chassis feedback and steering feel. This is what Polestar calls Progressive Performance,” said Thomas Ingenlath.
Following Polestar 1 in 2019 will be Polestar 2 a fully electric vehicle which will be aimed squarely at the Tesla Model 3, according to Polestar. “Polestar 2 is currently in the engineering phase and will start production before the end of 2019, delivering higher volumes than Polestar 1”.
Polestar 3 is in the final stages of design and will be a larger SUV-style full-electric vehicle and will sit between Polestar 1 and 2 in terms of volume and pricing.
“Being part of the Volvo Car Group enables Polestar to design, develop and engineer our cars using the processes of a well-established car company but at the same time, enables us to experiment with new technology in lower volume cars outside the mainstream segments. This pace of development means as we announce the future of the company, we can also already confirm that a portfolio of three Polestar cars will be on sale within the next four-year timescale,” continued Thomas Ingenlath.
In terms of ownsership, Polestar will be offering its vehicles on a monthly subscription basis, “This all-inclusive, no deposit, flat monthly payment ensures that the customer need never concern themselves with the inconvenience or cost of depreciation, insurance and maintenance and all Polestars will be offered on this basis.
“The subscription also includes pick-up and delivery servicing where Polestar contacts the customer to arrange a convenient time for scheduled maintenance. It will also consists of a number of car rental days and access to a range of concierge services”.
“Our vision is that the Polestar subscription model and services that we will offer will define the Polestar brand as much as our cars will. Services that exceed the needs, desires and expectations of the premium performance car customer are at the heart of Polestar, removing the inconvenience of ownership and allowing customers to purely concentrate on the pleasure of driving a Polestar car,” said Jonathan Goodman, Chief Operating Officer of Polestar.
Polestar will not be adding its vehicle to existing Volvo dealerships, but rather opening Polestar Spaces from early 2019. These facilities, the brand said, will be staffed by “Product experts who can assist in demonstrating and explaining the Polestar car’s content and carrying out test drives should the customer wish to do so”.
Polestar cars will be built in China. To facilitate this, Volvo Cars has formed a joint venture with two companies within its parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding. The new Polestar 1 will be built in a state-of-the-art, purpose-built Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China. Currently under construction and due for completion in mid-2018, the new Polestar Production Centre has been designed by award-winning architects, Snöhetta from Norway.
The new Polestar Production Centre will also house one of the first Polestar Spaces, with a customer test track constructed within the campus to enable potential customers to evaluate the car to extremes not possible on public roads.