POLESTAR 1 PERFORMANCE ELECTRIC
Earlier this year, Volvo Cars announced that it would turn Polestar into a new separately branded, electric high-performance car company, with Thomas Ingenlath as Chief Executive Officer. This was followed by another announcement in June this year, when H
Volvo’s future is now
Last month, Polestar, Volvo Cars’ newly formed Electric Performance arm, took the first step of what promises to be a journey of much more than a thousand miles as it revealed the company’s first Electric Performance Hybrid car– the Polestar 1.
If first impressions count, then the Polestar 1 makes the best possible first impression. The two-door, 2+2 seater Grand Tourer Coupé has the looks and the attitude that befits a performance car, and even more impressively, it has the figures to back it up. Fitted with an allnew double electric motor system driving both rear wheels and a four-cylinder Volvo Drive-E engine in the front, the Polestar 1 delivers 448 kW and 1,000 Nm of torque, placing the car firmly within reach of the current leaders in the performance car segment. With a range of up to 150 km on electric power alone, the Polestar 1 also boasts the longest full-electric range of any hybrid car on the market.
The Polestar 1 also brings other new technologies to market, including the double electric rear axle’s planetary gears and torque vectoring, which renders conventional traction control systems obsolete.
While the Polestar 1 uses hybrid technology to bridge the current technology gap, all future Polestar cars will feature fully electric powertrains. The second car, Polestar 2, will start production later in 2019 and will be the first battery electric vehicle (BEV) from the Volvo Car Group. Polestar 3, the third car, is in the final stages of design and will be a larger SUV-style BEV, and placed between the Polestar 1 and Polestar 2 in terms of volume and pricing.
Taking another bold step, Polestar also announced a fresh approach to taking vehicles to market, replacing the conventional idea of car ownership with a monthly subscription model, and supplementing (and eventually replacing) dealerships with an online ordering portal. This all-inclusive, no deposit, flat monthly payment makes redundant the cost of depreciation, insurance and maintenance. All Polestars will be offered on this basis, with a host of optional concierge and on-demand services included.
The subscription will be for a fixed term of two or three years, at the end of which the customer simply returns the car, and Polestar will then refurbish the vehicle and prepare it for a secondary subscription as a high-quality pre-owned Polestar car.
For the sake of the late adopters, the digital approach will be complemented by the creation of a network of standalone retail Polestar Spaces around the world. Although aftersales servicing will be carried out by selected Volvo retailers, the Polestar Spaces will not be located within existing Volvo retailer showrooms.
Polestar 1 production will start in mid2019 and will be limited to 500 cars per year. Introduction of the Polestar 1 in South Africa will depend on the production of right-hand drive models and market demand.