Electrified sports coupe displayed in motion for the first time
Steve Cropley Autocar
12 July 2018

The Polestar 1 hybrid coupé has made its dynamic debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Following a first reveal as the Volvo Concept Coupé at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show and its reinvention in Shanghai late last year as the Polestar 1, the car has now been demonstrated to the British public.

The 1's online configurator recently went live and allows visitors to choose from a limited number of options, with exterior paint shades spanning metallic and matt shades of black and grey. Polestar has kept the customisation options for the model close to those shown on the concept.

The first model from the newly spun-off performance hybrid and EV arm of Volvo will cost from €155,000 (about £135,500 at current rates) in Europe when it goes on sale in the middle of 2019, although customers will purchase the car through a monthly subscription.

Polestar said it has revealed the total price to illustrate where the car sits in the marketplace. The total figure makes it around £8000 more expensive than the Tesla Model S P100D.

The car spent much of its testing and development time within the Arctic Circle, where its drivetrain, batteries and torque vectoring system were placed under pressure in temperatures that reached -28deg C. 

Polestar boss Thomas Ingenlath said the torque vectoring system enhanced the 1's cornering responsiveness and accuracy, adding: "This is a driver's car."

The 1 is already available to order for a deposit of €2500 (about £1900). It will initially be sold in 18 countries, including the UK. Most of the markets fall in north, west and southern Europe, but China, the US and Canada are also included.

Polestar chose to increase the availability of the model at launch from an original 12 countries due to strong popularity.

The 1 made its European debut at the Geneva motor show in February and has been on a brand-building world tour before its public launch. Once production begins, 500 examples are due to be sold each year.

Before the opening of order books, Polestar said more than 6000 potential customers had expressed an interest in the car.

The 1 has an all-carbonfibre body based on a shortened version of the Volvo S90's platform. It will produce 592bhp from a front-mounted 2.0-litre turbo engine, plus twin electric motors on the rear axle, and is very much a halo car for the new Volvo performance brand. 

It will make more European appearances before heading to the US and then China, where a special manufacturing facility capable of handling carbonfibre structures is already under construction near Volvo’s existing plant at Chengdu.

According to Ingenlath, who remains Volvo’s design director, Polestar will become Volvo’s “technological spearhead” that, after the 1 hits the market, will make only electric performance cars. The company is preparing for an early 2020 launch of the 2 hatchback saloon, which bears a very close relationship to Ingenlath’s Concept 40.2 that has already been seen at motor shows. An SUV, the 3, will arrive after that.

The 2 (imagined by Autocar below), which will be all-steel and use Volvo’s smaller CMA platform, will go into production in late 2019 ahead of a 2020 launch. It will be offered with both left and right-hand drive. Ingenlath won’t say where the car will be built but is keen to point out its suitability as a rival to the Tesla Model 3.

Polestar is understood to still be deciding on details of its powertrain design, although two electric motors (one front, one rear) are suggested. The 2 should cost “from €40,000” and have a practical driving range of about 200 miles.

The 3 (imagined by Autocar above), a radically styled, low-roof SUV that will use the next generation of Volvo’s SPA big-car platform and have a mixed aluminium and steel body construction, is understood to be heading for a 2022 launch and is likely to be made at Polestar's Chengdu factory. When all three models are selling as anticipated, Polestar volume could reach 80,000-90,000 cars annually (with the 1 accounting for 500 and the 2 for around 50,000). Ingenlath says further models are being considered in segments that wouldn’t be mainstream enough to suit Volvo.

As well as developing rule-breaking new models, Polestar is working on a bespoke marketing set-up aimed at increasing convenience for owners and moving beyond the traditionally adversarial customer-dealer relationship. Cars will be paid for by a monthly subscription that includes insurance, servicing and possibly customer hire days (in case they need a van or fancy a sports car for a few days, for instance). The vehicles will be picked up from customers’ homes or workplaces and delivered back after servicing.

Polestar commercial director Jon Goodman expects to choose about 80 Polestar 'spaces' around the world to sell its cars, with an expected eight in the UK.

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Comments
14

6 February 2018

From Autocar Oct 2017 "The 1 will be sold online via a subscription scheme, with Polestar Spaces established for those who prefer to shop in person. Subscriptions will be on a two or three-year basis."

To this "It will be priced from £120,000 and is available only in left-hand drive."

So does this mean they've seen sense and dropped that rubbish subscription service for the Polestar 1?

I think the XC40 (£629 a month) was mean't to have a Subscription offer as well but that's gone quiet to.

Pretty but the Mission E will be out soon afterwards.

 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

13 March 2018

£116,000 for a pretty Volvo!  Only a true idiot would buy that.

19 April 2018
martin_66 wrote:

£116,000 for a pretty Volvo!  Only a true idiot would buy that.

Its a far better and more powerful alternative to an BMW i8 with a greater range, and lots of idiots buy them, and the fact its built on an existing chassis with upgraded existing parts, means it can be looked after by any Volvo dealer, and not just i specialists. 

 

13 March 2018

that´s it

No manual - no fun

19 April 2018

500 examples of the 1 a year would generate around £58,000,000 a year, if they can sell it for 4 years (max) lets say, at best they're get £232 million GROSS. That's peanuts for such an expensive carbon fibre car.

e.g. Model 3 at 4,000 units a week and £35k is £7,280,000,000 a year for 4 years equals  £29,120 million gross.

Hope my maths is right, it is getting late

 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

25 April 2018

This is now Polestar 1 weekly article, Oh and a Tesla Model 100D is actually £12k less

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

25 April 2018

the front is very Jaguar...

28 April 2018

But sadly I really really don’t get it at all. 

For that price you could have any Merc SL of a GTC. Brutal, some say beautiful and definitely competent.

I hoped this would have been more relevant £50k of style with some eco cleverness as performance is no longer relevant in a world where everything is jailbate fast.

My sales prediction is that it will be an unexceptional to drive rarity.

So sad... so very very sad.

 

 

11 June 2018

Maybe just a running monthly article for a car with 30'ish sales pa in the UK from late 2019.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

11 June 2018

Despite all the hype and marketing, the fact is that despite the Polestar name this looks and feels like a Volvo. In fact it's actually a S90 coupe. It's just like the MG days when that badge was put on most BL cars and touted as being something unique and special.

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