Polestar, the ex-performance arm of Swedish manufacturer Volvo, has revealed its first model as a standalone brand. The Polestar 1 coupe is a 600hp four-seat hybrid coupe will be the manufacturer’s flagship model.
The upcoming range of Polestar cars will all feature an all-electric powertain with the Polestar 1 acting as the brand’s halo car and the only hybrid in the line-up. It is due to reach production in mid-2019, followed by an all-electric Tesla Model 3 rival and a battery-powered SUV.
The Polestar 1 is powered by two electric motors with a total output of 218hp, which drives the rear wheels. The brand claims an all-electric range of 150km.
The electric motors are paired to Volvo’s Drive-E 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which sends around 382hp to the front wheels. The combined output of the hybrid system is 600hp and 999Nm of peak torque.
The design of the coupe is heavily inspired by that of the Volvo Concept Coupé unveiled in 2012. While the grille and front-end of the car are distinctly Volvo, the badges have been replaced with the Polestar one and it features distinctive, thin light strips both front and rear.
Although future Polestar models will be full BEVs, Ingenlath said the decision to make the 1 a “performance electric hybrid” was to “bridge today’s technology with the future, offering the perfect drivetrain for a grand touring coupé”.
Even though the 1 coupe isn’t a Volvo, it is underpinned by the Swedish firm’s technology and Polestar will serve as a "technology spearhead" for its parent company.
While the new car is based on Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture, the manufacturer claims that around 50 percent of the structure is new. The 1 is nearly 0.5m shorter than the S90 at 4.5 metres and has a wheelbase that has been reduced by 320mm while the rear has also been shortened by 200mm. Large sections of the body are made from carbon-fibre, helping to reduce weight by 230kg, increase torsional rigidity by 45 percent and lower the centre of gravity compared to the larger S90. The weight distribution has been set at 48 to the front and 52 to the rear.
The 1 is the first car to come standard with Ohlins’ new Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension, in which each shock absorber is fitted with an electronic valve that constantly monitors and adapts to driver inputs and the road surface. It is the first Ohlins system that can be adjusted by a driver from within the car.
Braking duties are carried out by Akebono-produced six-piston brake calipers with 400mm discs. The car also sports torque vectoring by using the rear axle’s planetary gears to split the power from the electric rear motors when in corners.
Polestar has planned to produce only 500 units of its flagship sedan every year, with only left-hand-drive models expected due to the small scale of production.
The 1 and every subsequent model will be produced at bespoke Polestar production centre currently being built in Chengdu, China. Volvo is owned by Chinese firm Geely and a joint venture has been established between Volvo and two investment companies owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding to support future Polestar development.
The flagship model will retail online via a subscription scheme, with Polestar Spaces established for those who prefer to shop in person. Subscriptions will be on a two or three-year basis, although pricing has yet to be announced. Polestar is now taking orders following the car’s launch in Shanghai, China, this week.
The 1 will be sold online via a subscription scheme for international markets, with Polestar Spaces, a showroom, established for those who prefer to shop in person. Subscriptions will be on a two or three-year basis and Polestar will begin taking orders following the official launch in Shanghai, China, this week.
Polestar 1 coupe image gallery