Volvo recently announced plans to spin their Polestar sub-brand into a new standalone hybrid performance marque, starting with the launch of the eye-catching Polestar 1 Performance Hybrid. Polestar was previously the performance and motorsports division for Volvo, and was best known for creating bright “Rebel Blue” high-performance iterations of Volvo models like the V60 Sports Wagon.
Planned for the 2019 model year, the Polestar 1 is a long sleek coupe with an incredibly high tech power plant that produces a wild 600 horsepower and 737 lb-ft of torque. Polestar will operate as the flagship technology showcase for Volvo, sharing platforms and Volvo’s advanced electric drivetrain systems. Remarkably, the Polestar 1 will produce that huge power figure using a tiny, four-cylinder Drive-E engine (along with a pair of electric motors).
Aligning with an eventual move towards fully electric vehicles, while the Polestar 1 is a hybrid, it will also be capable of traveling up to 150 km on electric power alone, covering a wide variety of commutes and driving scenarios.
Based loosely on the S90 platform, the Polestar 1 is roughly 50 per cent new and features a narrowed track and a shortened wheelbase for a gorgeous grand touring silhouette. With dual rear electric motors and the aforementioned gas engine powering the front wheels, the Polestar 1 will manage its multiple power plants with a series of drive modes that blend both efficiency and power.
The Polestar 1 is a long sleek coupe with an incredibly high tech power plant that produces a wild 600 horsepower and 737 lb-ft of torque.
Not unlike the recent V90, the Polestar 1 is striking, modern, and beautiful. Furthermore, the Polestar 1 looks to be designed for both performance and comfort, with a trick continuously controlled suspension from Ohlins that can actively adjust to road conditions to allow for both performance in the corners and comfort while cruising.
With an extensive use of carbon-fibre, the Polestar 1 is light and stiff, a combination that allows for a natural driving experience and increased efficiency. Elaborating, Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar said: “Most electric cars are fast—that’s a product of the attributes of an electric motor. However, for Polestar, performance is far more holistic than just straight-line speed. It’s about acceleration, of course, but it’s also about cornering, braking, suspension control, chassis feedback, and steering feel. This is what Polestar calls ‘Progressive Performance.’ ”
Polestar will produce a maximum of 500 Polestar 1 models per year and is planning to provide the car via a subscription service including a wide range of benefits, such as a concierge, and pick up and drop off services.
Looking beyond the Polestar 1, the brand is planning to create Polestar 2 and Polestar 3 models in the near future, with both slated to be fully electric. Now that Tesla has proven a solid market for the luxury electric vehicle, re-positioning Polestar as a premium performance EV brand is an interesting move for Volvo, pre-empting many of their rivals to the luxury-specific EV game.
Launching in 2019, the Polestar 1 is a great-looking and contemporary design on which to establish a standalone brand.
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