Little is as it may seem about this handsome, left-hand-drive-only 2+2.
The story of its birth is almost the stuff of fairy tale. It was designed as a Volvo – the 2013 Volvo Concept Coupé – by the man who would go on to become boss of the company that would eventually make it: Volvo design director turned Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. It’s almost as if Volvo’s Chinese owner, Geely, called his bluff or challenged him to double down on a bet; to put his personal reputation at stake and make not just one electrified mega-Volvo but several. Well, Ingenlath dared.
That helps explain why this car could be mistaken for a particularly svelte take on a Volvo S90 coupé, if such a car existed. It has a deliberately understated aesthetic by the standards of £139,000 exotic grand tourers; but, make no mistake, it’s even more exotic than most of its rivals under a skin of panels of which almost all are made out of weight-saving carbonfibre-reinforced polymer.
Volvo’s all-steel SPA platform was adapted to form the basis of the 1, but that process involved chopping the chassis down between the axles; reinforcing it with a new carbonfibre section called ‘the dragonfly’; and then replacing the car’s upper structure with carbonfibre pillars, cantrails and roof. The finished 1 is resultantly some 230kg lighter than if it would have been made entirely out of steel. It has a lower centre of gravity, too, and is some 45% more torsionally rigid.