From £139,0008

Volvo’s electric performance start-up brand is finally up and running. Will it impress?

The bold, alternative and alluring Polestar 1 is a car that feels like it has had a very protracted journey from drawing board to showroom.

It was, in some ways, the genesis of a new car company as much as a car. It has taken huge guts for the Volvo Car Group to deliver at all, reaching as it is up into exotic sports car territory for the very first time; doing that with a hybrid-powered grand tourer as challenging and unconventional as any in the world; and just trusting it will find buyers ready to embrace its commitment and vision readily.

If it were mine, I’d want to get as much use out of this car as I could, because it’s so nice to just punt around in. The trouble is, if the car had a bigger boot or you could fold the back seats down, you could get so much more use out of it

This is nothing less than Polestar’s attempt to redefine the potential of the electrified performance car on behalf of the whole motor industry. For any brand that would have been a bold target, but particularly so since this is the emergent Polestar’s first ever production model.

Perhaps it was bad luck to have aimed at that target at precisely the same time that the mighty Porsche was also doing so, and to have introduced the resulting model at almost exactly the same time that Zuffenhausen was unveiling the all-electric Porsche Taycan; but that was out of the company’s control. As we already know, the 1 is a vehicle of a singular mould, as unlike the aforementioned Porsche in many ways as it is a bristling V8 hot rod.

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Produced in Chengdu, China, this car is a glimpse of a future in which battery-powered exotics will surprise you not only in how they are powered but also in how they look, how they feel to drive, where they are made and which brands are making them.

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