Pole start for Polestar

Rotorua Weekender - - Arts Corner -

The news around flashy EV start-ups hasn’t been hugely pos­i­tive. Es­pe­cially if you’re Fara­day Fu­ture, the Chi­nese-funded, Cal­i­for­ni­an­based com­pany that promised to rev­o­lu­tionise lux­ury EVS and beat Tesla at the game it in­vented.

Cue a cash crunch, sev­eral high­level res­ig­na­tions and now it would ap­pear this buzz-word busi­ness has bit­ten the dust. That’s a pity, but then it ain’t easy start­ing a car com­pany. If you’re Tesla, it ain’t easy keep­ing one go­ing ei­ther, re­gard­less of how much uni­ver­sal good­will you gen­er­ate.

What a breath of car­bon emis­sion free air it is, then, to see the news out of Polestar this week. The Chi­nese-owned Volvo off­shoot has started build­ing cars. Out of ac­tual phys­i­cal ma­te­ri­als. On a proper assem­bly line. Okay, put the de­posit cheque (or what­ever you do these days) down for a sec­ond.

The cars be­ing pro­duced at this point aren’t des­tined for deal­er­ships. They’re ver­i­fi­ca­tion pro­to­types, hand-built to en­sure ev­ery com­plex on­board sys­tem is work­ing as it should.

But that Polestar has got to this point is promis­ing. Af­ter the 34 test mules be­ing as­sem­bled at Polestar’s Gothen­burg pro­to­typ­ing fa­cil­ity in Swe­den have been as­sessed, fine-tuned and — for some — crash tested, the real deal mass-pro­duc­tion cars will be­gin rolling down the pro­duc­tion line next year.

The first model (aptly named Polestar 1) will be a lux­ury all-wheel drive GT ri­val for the likes of the Bent­ley Con­ti­nen­tal GT. Ex­cept it will have a hy­brid elec­tric en­gine set-up that Polestar reck­ons will be good for a whop­ping 400kw.

Built on the same SPA (Scal­able Prod­uct Ar­chi­tec­ture) plat­form as Volvo’s XC, S and V90 mod­els, the Polestar will be a fair bit shorter than its clos­est com­par­a­tive car, the S90 sedan. Polestar shrinks ev­ery­thing, cut­ting 320mm from the wheel­base and 200mm from the rear body. Re­mark­ably, the Polestar 1 shares a sim­i­lar foot­print to a Porsche 911.

Oh, and when it comes time to swipe that credit card at your near­est Polestar dealer (which pos­si­bly won’t be any­where near you here in New Zealand, at least not ini­tially), you won’t ac­tu­ally own the car, ei­ther. At this stage the com­pany is of­fer­ing lease-only deals to in­ter­ested par­ties.

The lease fee will in­clude ser­vic­ing and give you ac­cess to the wider Volvo range of ve­hi­cles too. So, if you feel like go­ing ski­ing with the fam­ily and don’t want to use your Polestar, you can bor­row an XC90 from your near­est deal­er­ship for the weekend. The hire fee is al­ready cov­ered in your Polestar lease.

Sorry Fara­day. It looks like the fu­ture as you de­scribed it def­i­nitely lies some­where else.

Pho­tos / Sup­plied

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.