Published: Tue, October 17, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Polestar unveils its first vehicle - the Polestar 1

Polestar unveils its first vehicle - the Polestar 1

While Volvo has taken several steps in recent years to reinvent itself as an upscale and technological automaker, its newly created Polestar brand is about to show off how performance and electrification will work together in the future. Its electric performance hybrid powertrain can be driven up to 150km (93 miles) on the electric motor alone, in Pure mode. By 2010, it had formed strong relations with the Swedish auto company to begin making official performance models and by 2015, Polestar was acquired outright by Volvo.

Although built on the same platform as Volvo's S90 and sharing the same basic super-and-turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder that underpins most of Volvo's lineup, the radically new Polestar 1 is pretty much a ground-up revisioning of what a Volvo supercar can be.

On the powertrain side, the Polestar 1 has a new double electric rear axle, which enables torque vectoring for better cornering in this rear-drive electric performance auto.

Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar, said: "Polestar 1 is the first vehicle to carry the Polestar on the bonnet".

The Polestar 1 will take on BMW's i8 and give Tesla Model S owners something to think about.

As expected the Polestar 1 will be an electric coupe and even though Polestar has broken off from the Volvo brand, the Polestar One still has lots of inspiration from Volvo's current design language.

In fact, the entire platform is the same "SPA" architecture as the S90, but with around 50 per cent new parts, 320mm chopped from the wheelbase and another 200mm lopped off the rear. This would be followed by Polestar 3, an all-electric SUV-style vehicle.

What you see here is the first in this new range of electrified Polestars, creatively named the Polestar 1. At the end of the contract, the customer simply returns the auto, or Polestar collects it and delivers their next Polestar experience.

The Polestar 1 GT is the halo for the brand, Ingenlath said, and the first to wear the new Polestar logo on the hood. These won't be within existing Volvo retailer showrooms. There won't be a conventional ownership experience here, either - you can only order the auto online, and on a "two or three year subscription basis" with no deposit.

The vehicle will be built at the Polestar Production Centre, now being constructed in Chengdu, China. Order banks opened today for handraisers, but pricing has not been announced.

Polestar was a brand that first emerged in the 1990s as an unofficial team which campaigned Volvos in touring vehicle racing.

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