Pure Pro­gres­sive Per­for­mance: Polestar Shines Bright

An all-new high-per­for­mance sub-brand has an­nounced its ar­rival and plans. Volvo’s Polestar shows the way for­ward, re­veals Polestar 1: the first of three cars slated for in­tro­duc­tion from 2019

Car India - - BULLETIN -

Fol­low­ing an in­vest­ment of €640 mil­lion (Rs 4,864 crore) in Polestar by Volvo Car Cor­po­ra­tion and Geely Hold­ings, the high­per­for­mance arm has re­vealed the first car from their port­fo­lio of new hy­brid and elec­tric ve­hi­cles. The very first model from Volvo Car Corp’s high-per­for­mance sub­sidiary, Polestar, has fi­nally sur­faced in the form of a 600-PS per­for­mance GT car: Polestar 1.

POLESTAR 1

The Polestar 1 is styled heav­ily on the Volvo Con­cept Coupé, shown back in 2013. Although it is based on the SPA (Scal­able Prod­uct Ar­chi­tec­ture) plat­form that un­der­pins the new 60 and 90 lines of cars, it is al­most 50 per cent new, and rather be­spoke, re­sult­ing in a cut­ting-edge twodoor, four-seater coupé model. It aims to be a proper driver’s car and the ef­fort gone into de­vel­op­ment and its equip­ment list sec­ond that. The frame it­self uses a short­ened ver­sion of the SPA plat­form that fuses a car­bon-fi­bre ‘drag­on­fly’ in the floor­pan be­tween the mid­dle and the rear, with an alu­minium sub­frame form­ing the rear. The track widths are wider and the body is lower, more squat. The A- and B-pil­lars and the roof-line are made from car­bon-fi­bre.

This has saved 230 kg of weight and im­proved tor­sional rigid­ity by 45 per cent.

There are three bat­tery packs ― one in the cen­tre tun­nel and two in the rear ― form­ing the ‘Pow­er­house’ that cools, man­ages, and in­verts power; a to­tal of 34 kWh. The weight? 230 kg; ex­actly the same as that saved from con­struc­tion. This also leads to a lower cen­tre of grav­ity and a near per­fect weight dis­tri­bu­tion: 48:52 front to rear. At the nerve cen­tre is Öh­lins fifth­gen­er­a­tion Con­trolled Elec­tronic Suspension (CES i). Ake­bono de­vel­oped brakes, in­clud­ing 400-mm front vented discs with six-pis­ton calipers, bring the stop­ping power, with Pirelli P-Zero rub­ber con­nect­ing it to the road. The dou­ble elec­tric rear axle packs torque vec­tor­ing, which, rather than brake the in­ner wheels, ac­cel­er­ates the outer wheels for greater, more pre­cise ac­cel­er­a­tion and max­i­mum grip.

The styling is akin to the S90/V90 to re­tain its in­her­ent her­itage. Thor’s Ham­mer sig­na­ture LE D head­lamps flank the sides of a sporty, more ag­gres­sive front grille ac­tu­ally de­void of the tra­di­tional di­ag­o­nal Volvo chrome slat and Iron Mark. It bears a new badge, the Polestar logo, atop the bon­net. Sleek and curvy lines make it ap­pear sharper and sportier, with a pro­nounced squat when viewed rear­wards. The slop­ing coupé roofline also has a roof made of glass. Think of it as an ex­tremely sporty S60 coupé; a spir­i­tual C60, if you will.

In­side, the lay­out is akin to its Volvo sib­lings; more pre­cisely, the S90, with the huge touchscreen cen­tre dis­play with fa­mil­iar in­for­ma­tion di­als. The wood trim is re­placed by car­bon-fi­bre; un­der­scor­ing its sport cre­den­tials. The ma­jor dif­fer­ence in here, again, is the Polestar logo, and not the Iron Mark, on the steer­ing wheel. Ex­pect noth­ing but high-qual­ity com­fort seat­ing in this 2+2 seater GT , with highly con­sid­er­ate er­gonomics, em­body­ing the com­pany’s rein­car­nated sporty side.

What’s even more re­mark­able is the pow­er­train. The ‘Elec­tric Per­for­mance Hy­brid’, as Polestar call it, es­sen­tially makes for an elec­tric car sup­ported by a com­bus­tion en­gine. It prom­ises 150 km of pure elec­tric range. The en­gine drives the front wheels with two elec­tric mo­tors pow­er­ing each of the rear wheels in­di­vid­u­ally. The lay­out is akin to the XC90 T8 we have here: the 1,969-cc four-cylin­der en­gine makes about 340 PS and 450 Nm. Two 80-kW (109-PS equiv­a­lent) elec­tric mo­tors are at the rear. A 34-kW (46-PS equiv­a­lent) mo­tor works as the ISG (in­te­grated starter gen­er­a­tor). The com­bined peak out­put is 600 PS and 1,000 Nm.

The new Polestar 1 will be pro­duced at a ded­i­cated state-of-the-art new car fa­cil­ity that’s be­ing built in Chengdu, due to be com­pleted by the mid­dle of 2018. Pro­duc­tion will com­mence in the first half of 2019. Polestar 1 or­der books opened on 17 Oc­to­ber.

OWN­ER­SHIP

Polestar will also move away from the tra­di­tional own­er­ship ex­pe­ri­ence by be­ing al­most com­pletely dig­i­tal. The car is avail­able on­line only, on a two- or three-year sub­scrip­tion ba­sis. The monthly sub­scrip­tion in­cludes zero de­posit, in­sur­ance, pick-up, de­liv­ery, ser­vic­ing, and road­side as­sis­tance. More in­di­vid­ual features can be availed of through the Polestar App and Polestar On De­mand: al­ter­na­tive rentals within the Volvo and Polestar fam­ily; ac­ces­sories such as a roof-box; air­port pick-up, clean, and return (for the car). The fo­cus is on driv­ing plea­sure, with Polestar tak­ing care of ev­ery other as­pect. There will also be a net­work of ‘Polestar Spa­ces’ around the world for a more per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence with the new brand and its car line.

WHAT NEXT?

The sec­ond car, Polestar 2, will be an al­l­elec­tric model and will be re­vealed in the sec­ond half of 2019. It will be a bat­tery elec­tric ve­hi­cle aimed squarely at the Tesla Model 3. The third car, the Polestar 3, will be a low, pow­er­ful-bod­ied SUV based on the sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion SPA plat­form, and will ar­rive later.

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