Volvo subsidiary Polestar 1 launches its first high-performance PHEV ahead of battery-only models in 2019
Polestar, Volvo Car Group’s performance brand, has today revealed its future as a new standalone electric performance brand. the company confirmed plans for its first three models, a new purpose-built production facility in China and a customer-focused route to market that will set a new industry benchmark for performance vehicles.
The company also unveiled the 600hp Polestar 1, the company’s first car, which is set to roll off the production line in mid-2019. Polestar’s technology and product offering benefits from synergies and economies of scale enabled by the Volvo Car Group, helping it to accelerate design, development and production processes at a fraction of the time it takes other new entrants.
Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO 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.”
The Polestar 1 is a two-door, 2+2 seat Grand Tourer Coupé with an ‘Electric Performance Hybrid’ drivetrain. An plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV) supported by an internal combustion engine, it has a range of 150km on pure electric power alone – the longest full-electric range of any hybrid car on the market. Its output of 600hp and 1000Nm of torque places the car firmly in the performance car segment.
The PHEV is based upon Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA), but approximately 50% is new and bespoke, created by Polestar’s engineers. It is fitted with all-new Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) advanced chassis technology, while a carbon fibre body reduces bodyweight and improves torsional stiffness by 45%, as well as lowering the car’s centre of gravity. Additionally, Polestar 1 uses a double electric rear axle, which enables torque vectoring. This supports the driver with precise acceleration on each wheel to keep the maximum road grip and maintain speed while cornering.
The Polestar 1 will be built in the state-of-the-art, purpose-built Production Centre in Chengdu, China. Currently under construction, it is due for completion in mid-2018.
The company will also move away from today’s traditional ownership model. Cars will be ordered 100% online and offered on a two- or three-year subscription basis. The zero-deposit, all-inclusive subscription will also add features such as pick-up and delivery servicing, and the ability to rent alternative vehicles within the Volvo and Polestar range, all incorporated into one monthly payment.
The flat-rate subscription means that having a Polestar car becomes a hassle-free experience for the customer. This is facilitated by Phone-As-Key technology. It allows the owner to share a virtual key with a third party, and also enables access to a host of other on-demand features. This concierge service ensures that the customer needs to focus only on the enjoyment of driving.
The future is electric
All future cars from Polestar will have a fully electric powertrain. Polestar 2 will start production later in 2019 and will be the first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) from the Volvo Car Group. It will be a mid-sized BEV and produced consequently higher volumes than Polestar 1.
The initial phase of the product roll-out will then be completed by the subsequent arrival of a larger SUV-style BEV, the Polestar 3, which will create a modern expression of electric performance and driving dynamics.
The ordering and configuration of vehicles will be conducted online via an app or online portal. However, it will open a network of physical spaces around the world.
The order books for the new Polestar 1 open on 17 October 2017, but the company is able to take expressions of interest from prospective customers immediately.