Polestar, Volvo Car Group's performance brand, unveiled its first car, the 600-hp (448-kW) Polestar 1 performance hybrid. Available in mid-2019, it is the first of three vehicles from Polestar as part of the company’s new standalone electric performance brand. It will be assembled in China at Polestar's purpose-built production facility in Chengdu.
The Polestar 1 is a two-door, 2+2 seat Grand Tourer Coupé with an electric performance hybrid drivetrain. An electric car supported by an internal combustion engine, it has a range of 150 kms on pure electric power alone—the longest full electric range of any hybrid car on the market says Polestar. Its output of 600 hp and 1000 N·m (738 lb·ft) of torque places the car firmly in the performance car segment.
“Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar, in a release statement. "A beautiful GT with cutting edge technology—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 performance hybrid is based on Volvo's Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA), but approximately 50% is new and bespoke, created by Polestar's engineers. To reinforce its dynamic driving characteristics, Polestar 1 benefits from several new technologies, all aimed at making it a true driver's car.
According to the company, Polestar 1 is the world's first car to be fitted with the all-new Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) advanced chassis technology. The Polestar 1’s carbon fiber body reduces body weight and improves torsional stiffness by 45%, as well as lowers the car’s center of gravity. Additionally, Polestar 1 uses a double-electric rear axle that enables torque vectoring. This supports the driver with precise acceleration on each wheel to keep the maximum road grip and maintain speed while cornering. It also features Akebono six piston brakes.
All future cars from Polestar will have a fully electric powertrain, according to a release from the company. 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.
The cars will be ordered exclusively online and offered on a two- or three-year subscription basis, Polestar reports. 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.