Volvo’s performance offshoot, Polestar, has unveiled its first car – a 600hp coupé called Polestar 1 – and confirmed its future as a new standalone electric performance brand.
Polestar revealed plans for its first three models, a new purpose-built production facility in China and a customer-focused route to market that it claims will set a new industry benchmark for performance vehicles.
Polestar says its technology and product offering benefits from synergies and economies of scale enabled by the Volvo Car Group, reducing timings for design, development and production processes in comparison to other new entrants to the market.
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."
Designed to be a halo car for the brand, the Polestar 1 is a two-door, 2+2 seat Grand Tourer Coupé with an ‘Electric Performance Hybrid’ drivetrain. Its electric motor is paired with an internal combustion engine, but in electric-only mode, it has a range of 150kms - claimed to be the longest of any hybrid car on the market.
The coupé is based on Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) but approximately 50% is new and bespoke, created by Polestar’s engineers. A power output of 600hp and peak torque of 1000Nm place it firmly in the performance car sector and a suite of new technologies are all aimed at making it a true driver’s car.
These include the all-new Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) advanced chassis technology (a world first), carbon fibre bodywork and a double electric rear axle which enables torque vectoring to improve grip and maintain speed while cornering.
The Polestar 1 is set to roll off the production line in mid-2019 in a purpose-built facility in Chengdu, China. Currently under construction, it is due for completion in mid-2018.
Polestar is moving 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 is designed to create a hassle-free experience for the customer – facilitated by Phone-As-Key technology. This concierge service allows the owner to share a virtual key with a third party, and also enables access to a range of other on-demand features.
All future cars from Polestar are to 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, joining the competition around the Tesla Model 3, and with consequently higher volumes than Polestar 1. The initial phase of the Polestar 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 Polestar cars will be conducted online via a Polestar app or online portal. However, customers who still want to physically engage with the brand will be able to do so via a network of standalone Polestar Spaces which will be opened around the world – but not within existing Volvo retailer showrooms.
Order books for the Polestar 1 are open now.