After its first reveal as the Volvo Concept Coupé at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show, followed by its reinvention in Shanghai as the Polestar 1, late last year, the car will be displayed in motion for the first time at Goodwood, in July 2018.
The 600hp machine from Volvo's newly spun-off performance hybrid and EV brand completed around two weeks of testing, with a focus on its drivetrain, batteries and torque vectoring system. Polestar conducted the tests in the Arctic Circle to place the hybrid system under pressure in temperatures that reached -28deg C.
Polestar boss Thomas Ingenlath said the torque vectoring system enhanced the car's cornering responsiveness and accuracy, adding, "This is a driver's car."
The Polestar 1 has an all-carbon-fibre body based on a shortened version of the Volvo S90's platform. It will produce 600hp from a front-mounted 2.0-litre turbo engine, plus twin electric motors on the rear axle, and is very much a halo car.
According to Ingenlath, who also remains Volvo’s design director, Polestar will become Volvo’s “technological spearhead” that will make only electric performance cars after the Polestar 1 hits the market. The company is preparing for an early 2020 launch of the Polestar 2 – a Skoda Octavia-like notchback which bears a very close relationship to Ingenlath’s Concept 40.2 that has already been seen at motor shows. The Polestar 3 will arrive after that, in SUV form.
The Polestar 1 was on display at the Beijing motor show in the week following confirmation that a prototype has completed its maiden dynamic shakedown test in the Arctic Circle. It made its European debut at the Geneva motor show in February and is going on a brand-building world tour before its public launch. It will make more European appearances —including the public driving debut at Goodwood — before heading to the US and then China, where a special manufacturing facility capable of handling carbon-fibre structures is already under construction near Volvo’s existing plant at Chengdu.
Polestar chose to increase the availability of the model at launch from 12 countries to 18 due to high popularity. Most of the markets fall in north, west and southern Europe; but China, the US and Canada are also included. Before the opening of order books, Polestar said more than 6,000 potential customers had expressed an interest in the car. Once production begins, 500 examples of the Polestar 1 are due to be sold, each year.
The Polestar 1 will cost from €1,55,000 (about Rs 1.2 crore at current rates) when it goes on sale in Europe in mid-2019 – although customers will purchase the car through a monthly subscription. Polestar's revealed total price makes it around Rs 7.2 lakh more expensive than the Tesla Model S P100D.