Polestar, the former tuning arm of Swedish manufacturer Volvo, has revealed its first standalone model overnight at an event in China. The Polestar 1 , which is based on the Volvo S90’s SPA platform but shortened by 650mm and changed by adding carbon fibre, which took 230kg out of the S90 sedan’s weight.
To be built in Chengdu in China, the Polestar 1 will go on sale in European markets in 2019 at a price of around 130,000 Euros. Polestar will unveil other models in its future, simply dubbed 2 and 3, within the next few years. For now, the Polestar brand is out of reach from Australia due to a lack of RHD production, though future models will be engineered for our market.
“Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar.
“A beautiful GT with amazing technology packed into it – a great start for our new Polestar brand. All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand”.
To be sold as the flagship Polestar product, perhaps the most interesting element of the 1 is its drivetrain. Instead of employing a six- or eight-cylinder engine like competitors, it uses Volvo’s T8 plug-in hybrid drivetrain, albeit tuned for this application. Mating a 2.0-litre turbo and supercharged four-cylinder engine to two rear electric motors is not new – the Volvo XC90 and XC60 already offer it in Australia – but Polestar has turned up the tune to 441kW (600 hp in the old money) of power and a scary 1,000Nm of torque.
Despite this power, the Polestar 1 is capable of travelling up to 150km on electric power alone – the highest in the world for a plug-in hybrid, according to the brand – and is still capable of a 0-100km/h sprint in under four seconds.
Based on the same platform as the Volvo S90, the Polestar team reduced the car’s overall length by a substantial 650mm and modified the platform by adding a significant amount of carbon fibre to reduce weight and add structural strength. Overall, the brand says that over 230kg of weight was cut from the S90’s maximum 2,150kg weight.
Suspension specialists Ohlins developed the Polestar 1’s suspension, and as a result, the brand says that it handles like a ‘true sports car’ and ‘redefines our expectations of an electric vehicle’s handling’. The brand also says that the car’s Akebono 6-piston brake callipers and 400-millimetre discs provide ‘maximum stopping capability’, whilst its weight distribution of 48:52 front:rear also ensures the car delivers ‘class-leading handling’.
To be sold as the flagship Polestar model, the 1 will enter production in mid-2019 with production capped at a maximum of 500 cars per year. The cars will only be offered by the brand through a subscription service – a monthly payment will cover most of the associated costs with the car, including insurance, with additional services such as fuel and servicing also included depending on the driver.
The Polestar 1 is just the beginning from the Swedish brand, which recently separated from parent company Volvo. Both a Polestar 2 and 3 are in the pipeline, which will extend into more mainstream segments. The Polestar 2 will be a full-size electric car that is currently undergoing its engineering phase, while the Polestar 3 will be a SUV-style vehicle that will appeal to owners with more adventuring lifestyles.
“Being part of the Volvo Car Group enables Polestar to design, develop and engineer our cars using the processes of a well-established car company but at the same time, enables us to experiment with new technology in lower volume cars outside the mainstream segments. This pace of development means as we announce the future of the company, we can also already confirm that a portfolio of three Polestar cars will be on sale within the next four year timescale,” continued Thomas Ingenlath.
Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for news regarding the Polestar range.