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

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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.

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