Polestar has revealed its first model to become independent Volvo brand.
Polestar 1 is a 592bhp four seater hybrid GT coupe that will be, the brand says, to act as a halo model for its future range of electric pumps for high performance cars, which will be sold by subscription. Hakan Samuelson, CEO of Volvo describes the Polestar as “a new brand that refers to one of the main strategies of the Volvo Group. We want to be the leader of electric cars, and Polestar to play an important role in this strategy”.
Will go into production in mid-2019, the 1 is tagged by company boss Thomas Ingenlath as â€œan electric car, with the support of an internal combustion engineâ€. It will be the only hybrid to bring the brand name of the new badge. All future Polestars, beginning with a Tesla Model 3 rival and a big SUV-style machine, it will be full of battery electric vehicles (Bev).
The 1 will be powered by two electric motors that drive the rear wheels, producing a combined 215bhp with the support of an integrated system starter generator. The car will have an autonomy of approximately 93 km in pure electric, rear-wheel-drive mode. This system will be twinned with a Volvo Drive-E 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine, which sends around 377bhp to the front wheels. When combined in the Power model, the hybrid system can produce 737lb ft of torque.
The style of 1 draws heavily from the Volvo Concept Coupe, introduced in 2012, which was the first to be written by Ingenlath in his previous role as Volvo’s design chief. Although the front retains the Volvo-style grid, the Swedish company badge has been removed, with the Polestar logo subtly placed on the front part of the hood.
“Polestar does not have a front grille, grid,” explained Ingenlath.
The front grille is designed to house the sensors. The coupe also features the distinctive character, of thin light strips front and rear.
Even if the future Polestar models will be a full Bev, Ingenlath said that the decision to make the 1 â€œperformance hybrid electricâ€ bridgeâ€œ, the technology of today, for the future, and offers the perfect transmission for a gran turismo coupeâ€.
Even if you don’t bring a Volvo badge, the 1 is still supported by the company on the Swedish technology and Polestar will serve as a “technology tip” for its parent company. Samuelson said : “implementation of an electric car is not only put an electric motor of a car. To make electricity, you need to make it exciting, and Polestar to share this with the group.”
The 1 is based on the Volvo Scalable Platform Architecture, even if the company says that about 50% of the structure is new. The 1 is 4.5 meters long, making it almost 0.5 m shorter than that of the S90, with the wheelbase reduced from 320 mm and the rear shortened by 200mm. The main body parts are made from carbon fiber, helping to reduce the weight of 230 kg, to increase the torsional stiffness of the 45% and lower the center of gravity compared to the S90.
Ingenlath said that the new coupe is designed to show off the brand’s â€œprogressive performanceâ€, which aims to balance the fast of the attributes of an electric motor with a strong handling and steering. The weight distribution was set at 48/52 front to rear.
The car is the first to be equipped with Ohlinsâ€™ new Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension. With this system, each shock absorber is equipped with an electronic valve that constantly monitors and adapts to driver inputs and the road surface. This is the first Ohlins system, which can be adjusted by a driver inside the car.
The coupe uses Akebono-produced with six-piston brake calipers with 400mm discs. It also has torque vectoring, the use of a double electric rear axle’s planetary gears to split the power back electric motors when in the corners.
“When Hakan asks me to drive as a Polestar, I was not convinced. You felt bad,” said Ingenlath. “But a couple of weeks later, I went to a test for a first prototype in Sweden, and it was clear that it was not a S90 coupe was a GT, a sports car. It was not suitable to be a Volvo. It was something new, something exciting.”
A maximum 500-1 will be produced each year, the company said. They will be left-hand-drive only because, it is believed, to the small scale of production. All of the cars, together with the brand’s future models, will be made to measure Polestar production center currently under construction in Chengdu, China. Volvo is owned by Chinese firm Geely, and a joint venture was established between Volvo and two investment companies owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding to support future Polestar development.
The 1 will be sold online through a subscription scheme, with Polestar Spaces established for those who prefer to make purchases in person. Subscriptions will be two or three years, even if a price is not yet announced. Polestar is now taking orders following the car’s launch in Shanghai, China.
Ingenlath said Polestar is tip top so it will also be the launch of two models, the polar star 2 and 3. He explained: “we do not want to shy away, hide in a comfortable niche of low volume, we want to go all-in, where is in progress. We have also decided to build an electric car that will join the competition of all, the Tesla Model 3, we’ll take an exciting approach. We design cars for people who love cars as much as we do”.
Volvo has invested Â£570 million euros in the new performance of the division.
The subscription deal for all Polestars:
Polestar sells 1 and future models through a subscription service, and waiver of a traditional network of dealers in favor of selling online.
The car will be offered an all-inclusive subscription, with a two or three years, fixed term, set monthly payments and no deposit. The fee, which has yet to be disclosed, include the transport, delivery and service at selected Volvo dealers.
The fee also includes a number of car rental days, allowing 1 owners the use of more than the Volvo. Through an app, Polestar will offer a range of concierge services, including the ability to hire a big car and accessories such as roof boxes, and you can book a waiter cleaning.
Once the subscription period is completed, the Polestar takes the car back, with the vehicles then refurbished and sold second-hand.
The Polestar cars will also feature Phone-as-Keyâ€™ technology, which will allow app users to operate their cars without keys, or give a â€˜virtualâ€™ key to other users when necessary.
Polestar is not all that deviate from the traditional showroom and you will get a small number of Polestar Spaces in various places, but none will be linked to the current Volvo showroom. The first Polestar Spaces are due to open at the beginning of 2019. Given the popularity of performance cars in the Uk market, it is likely that at least one of the site will be in the UNITED kingdom.
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