Sleek GT to be Volvo-owned firm’s flagship; Polestar sales online by subscription only; valued at about £116,000
James Attwood, digital editor
17 October 2017

Polestar has revealed its first model since becoming a standalone brand from Volvo.

The Polestar 1 is a 592bhp four-seat hybrid GT coupé that will, the brand says, act as a halo model for its future range of electric performance cars, which will be sold via subscription only. Hakan Samuelson, Volvo CEO describes Polestar as "a new brand that relates to a major strategy of the Volvo Group. We want to be leaders in electric cars, and Polestar will play an important role in this strategy".

Due to go into production in mid-2019, the 1 is labeled by company boss Thomas Ingenlath as “an electric car with support from an internal-combustion engine”. It will be the only hybrid to carry the brand’s new badge. All future Polestars, beginning with a Tesla Model 3 rival and a larger SUV-style machine, will be full battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

The 1 will be powered by two electric motors that drive the rear wheels, producing a combined 215bhp with the support of an integrated starter/generator. The car will have a range of around 93 miles in pure-electric, rear-wheel-drive mode. That system will be twinned with a Volvo Drive-E 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which sends around 377bhp to the front wheels. When combined in Power model, the hybrid system can produce 737lb ft of torque. 

The styling of the 1 draws heavily on the Volvo Concept Coupé, unveiled in 2012, which was the first to be penned by Ingenlath in his previous role as Volvo design chief. Although the front end retains Volvo’s grille styling, the Swedish firm’s badge has been removed, with the Polestar logo subtly placed on the front of the bonnet.

"Polestar will not have a front grille, it will have the grid," explained Ingenlath. 

The grid at front is designed to house sensors. The coupé also features distinctive, thin light strips both front and rear.

Although future Polestar models will be full BEVs, Ingenlath said the decision to make the 1 a “performance electric hybrid” was to “bridge today’s technology with the future, offering the perfect drivetrain for a grand touring coupé”.

Although it won't carry a Volvo badge, the 1 is still underpinned by the Swedish firm’s technology and Polestar will serve as a "technology spearhead" for its parent company. Samuelson said "making an electric car is not just about putting an electric motor into a car. To make it electric, you need to make it exciting, and Polestar will share this with the group".

The 1 is based on Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture, although the firm says around 50% of the structure is new. The 1 is 4.5 metres long, making it nearly 0.5m shorter than the S90, with the wheelbase reduced by 320mm and the rear shortened by 200mm. Major body parts are made from carbonfibre, helping to cut weight by 230kg, increase torsional rigidity by 45% and lower the centre of gravity compared with the S90.

Ingenlath said the new coupé is designed to showcase the brand’s “progressive performance” concept, which aims to balance the fast-accelerating attributes of an electric motor with strong handling and steering feel. The weight distribution has been set at 48/52 front to rear.

The car is the first to be fitted with Ohlins’ new Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension. With this system, each shock absorber is fitted with an electronic valve that constantly monitors and adapts to driver inputs and the road surface. It is the first Ohlins system that can be adjusted by a driver from within the car.

The coupé uses Akebono-produced six-piston brake calipers with 400mm discs. It also features torque vectoring, using the double electric rear axle’s planetary gears to split the power from the electric rear motors when in corners.

"When Hakan ask me about car as a Polestar I was not convinced. It felt wrong," said Ingenlath. "But a couple of weeks later I went to a test for an early prototype in Sweden, and it was clear it was not an S90 coupe, it was a GT, a sports car. It was not fit to be a Volvo any more. It was something new, something exciting".

A maximum of 500 of the 1 will be produced per year, the company said. They will be left-hand-drive only due, it is believed, to the small production scale. All the cars, along with the brand’s future models, will be made at a bespoke Polestar production centre currently being built in Chengdu, China. Volvo is owned by Chinese firm Geely and a joint venture has been established between Volvo and two investment companies owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding to support future Polestar development.

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. If the car were to be valued for purchase, it's said to cost about £116,000. Polestar is now taking orders following the car’s launch in Shanghai, China.

Ingenlath said Polestar is aiming high so will also launch two more models, the Polestar 2 and 3. He explained "We don't want to shy away, hide in a comfy niche of low volume, we want to go all-in where it's happening. We have also decided to build an electric car that will join the competition around the Tesla Model 3, we will bring an exciting approach. We design cars for people who love cars as much as we do".

Volvo has invested £570 million into the new performance division.

Subscription-only deal for all Polestars:

Polestar will sell the 1 and future models via a subscription service – and it will forgo a traditional dealer network in favour of online sales.

Cars will be offered on an all-inclusive subscription basis, with a two or three-year fixed term, set monthly payments and no deposit. The fee, which has yet to be disclosed, will include pick-up, delivery and servicing at selected Volvo dealers.

The fee also includes a number of car rental days, allowing 1 owners the use of larger Volvos. Through an app, Polestar will offer a range of concierge services, including extended hire of larger cars and items such as roof boxes and the ability to book valet cleaning.

Once the subscription term is completed, Polestar takes the car back, with vehicles then refurbished and sold second-hand.

Polestar cars will also feature ‘Phone-as-Key’ technology, which will allow app users to operate their car without a key or give a ‘virtual’ key to other users when needed.

Polestar isn’t entirely moving away from traditional showrooms and will open a small number of Polestar Spaces in various locations, but none will be connected to current Volvo showrooms. The first Polestar Spaces are due to open in early 2019. Given the popularity of performance cars in the British market, it is likely that at least one site will be in the UK.

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Volvo S90 review 

Volvo S60 Polestar

Volvo XC90 review

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Comments
24

17 October 2017
Looks good but not available til 2019 and then only in LHD form. With an electric only range of 93 miles I'm not sure how this will fare against the other 'real electric' vehicles that will be on sale by then. Opportunity missed. Disappointing really.

17 October 2017

The Volvo Coupe Concept from four years ago has been turned into an electric vehicle and had the badges replaced with meaningless Polestar ones? What an utter disapointment. 

Surely this devalues the Volvo brand more than excites people about an electric performance car. 

17 October 2017
Who would want their premium Volvo based coupe to be built in China, rather than Sweden??

17 October 2017

.... that's going to be interesting. As for the styling, it's attractive but is somehow missing something, and it's not just the absence of a badge in the grill.

17 October 2017

While the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes for example have their own standalone performance brand, their cars have a direct link to their parent companies through styling and branding. Polestar on the other hand is also a standalone brand making their own car (like Mercedes-AMG does) but the 1's relationship with Volvo branded cars through its styling is so obvious, I wonder whether Volvo will be able to convince customers that Polestar is unique and separate especially when the 1 won't have any Volvo badging or be sold in their showrooms. The 1 is merely not a rebadged Volvo, it's a standalone model from a new marque.

17 October 2017

If the XC40 is £629 a month this car, being at least 4 times the value, will be at least £1,500 a month for minuium of 2 years. For a car built in China by a Chinese company with a 2.0 4 pot engine based on one in the ancient V40 that's crazy! 

That's a minimum ownership fee of £36,000 over 2 years for a 377hp going though the front wheels.  

Wait till the BEV version, it'll make far more sense.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

17 October 2017
xxxx wrote:

If the XC40 is £629 a month this car, being at least 4 times the value, will be at least £1,500 a month for minuium of 2 years. For a car built in China by a Chinese company with a 2.0 4 pot engine based on one in the ancient V40 that's crazy! 

That's a minimum ownership fee of £36,000 over 2 years for a 377hp going though the front wheels.  

Wait till the BEV version, it'll make far more sense.

Why is it whenever there is a story a bout Volvo you jump straight whining? Did a Viking steal your sweets or something, I am surprised you havent mentioned the child locks or washer jets yet like you normally do. 

As for the 2.0 4 pot engine, again your lack of knowledge and sheer hatred for the marque allows you to miss the fact that the V40 was orignally released with a range Ford Ecoboost engines, that have since been phased out for this new VEA engine first released in 2013, but only reaching the V40 in 2016, so its hardly ancient, in fact its very modern and state of the art. Not many manufacturers are producing anything as powerful, its only a few horses down on the AMG engine in the A Class, but of course Volvo are not shouting about it..  

17 October 2017
Citytiger wrote:

xxxx wrote:

If the XC40 is £629 a month this car, being at least 4 times the value, will be at least £1,500 a month for minuium of 2 years. For a car built in China by a Chinese company with a 2.0 4 pot engine based on one in the ancient V40 that's crazy! 

That's a minimum ownership fee of £36,000 over 2 years for a 377hp going though the front wheels.  

Wait till the BEV version, it'll make far more sense.

Why is it whenever there is a story a bout Volvo you jump straight whining? Did a Viking steal your sweets or something, I am surprised you havent mentioned the child locks or washer jets yet like you normally do. 

As for the 2.0 4 pot engine, again your lack of knowledge and sheer hatred for the marque allows you to miss the fact that the V40 was orignally released with a range Ford Ecoboost engines, that have since been phased out for this new VEA engine first released in 2013, but only reaching the V40 in 2016, so its hardly ancient, in fact its very modern and state of the art. Not many manufacturers are producing anything as powerful, its only a few horses down on the AMG engine in the A Class, but of course Volvo are not shouting about it..  

Wondered when you'd turn up fanboy, it's still an IC engine from a 2013 V40, being knocked out for £120,000

Oh and if you read all my post before blowing up in rage you would have read my bit about waiting for the Fully electric version.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

17 October 2017
xxxx wrote:

Citytiger wrote:

xxxx wrote:

If the XC40 is £629 a month this car, being at least 4 times the value, will be at least £1,500 a month for minuium of 2 years. For a car built in China by a Chinese company with a 2.0 4 pot engine based on one in the ancient V40 that's crazy! 

That's a minimum ownership fee of £36,000 over 2 years for a 377hp going though the front wheels.  

Wait till the BEV version, it'll make far more sense.

Why is it whenever there is a story a bout Volvo you jump straight whining? Did a Viking steal your sweets or something, I am surprised you havent mentioned the child locks or washer jets yet like you normally do. 

As for the 2.0 4 pot engine, again your lack of knowledge and sheer hatred for the marque allows you to miss the fact that the V40 was orignally released with a range Ford Ecoboost engines, that have since been phased out for this new VEA engine first released in 2013, but only reaching the V40 in 2016, so its hardly ancient, in fact its very modern and state of the art. Not many manufacturers are producing anything as powerful, its only a few horses down on the AMG engine in the A Class, but of course Volvo are not shouting about it..  

Wondered when you'd turn up fanboy, it's still an IC engine from a 2013 V40, being knocked out for £120,000

Oh and if you read all my post before blowing up in rage you would have read my bit about waiting for the Fully electric version.

However it also happens to quicker, more powerful, more practical, has a far greater electric range, and nicer interior than the similar priced i8 which uses a 1.5 3 pot mini engine..  

18 October 2017
Citytiger wrote:

xxxx wrote:

Citytiger wrote:

xxxx wrote:

If the XC40 is £629 a month this car, being at least 4 times the value, will be at least £1,500 a month for minuium of 2 years. For a car built in China by a Chinese company with a 2.0 4 pot engine based on one in the ancient V40 that's crazy! 

That's a minimum ownership fee of £36,000 over 2 years for a 377hp going though the front wheels.  

Wait till the BEV version, it'll make far more sense.

Why is it whenever there is a story a bout Volvo you jump straight whining? Did a Viking steal your sweets or something, I am surprised you havent mentioned the child locks or washer jets yet like you normally do. 

As for the 2.0 4 pot engine, again your lack of knowledge and sheer hatred for the marque allows you to miss the fact that the V40 was orignally released with a range Ford Ecoboost engines, that have since been phased out for this new VEA engine first released in 2013, but only reaching the V40 in 2016, so its hardly ancient, in fact its very modern and state of the art. Not many manufacturers are producing anything as powerful, its only a few horses down on the AMG engine in the A Class, but of course Volvo are not shouting about it..  

Wondered when you'd turn up fanboy, it's still an IC engine from a 2013 V40, being knocked out for £120,000

Oh and if you read all my post before blowing up in rage you would have read my bit about waiting for the Fully electric version.

However it also happens to quicker, more powerful, more practical, has a far greater electric range, and nicer interior than the similar priced i8 which uses a 1.5 3 pot mini engine..  

Two wrongs don't make a right

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

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