That’s right: Polestar’s stylish-looking hot hybrid halo car will, at least initially, be only available with the steering wheel on the left. Which isn’t great news for us Brits, among others. You’ll still be able to buy – sorry, take out a subscription for - the Polestar 1 in the UK, of course, but you’ll have to make do with the steering wheel on the wrong side.
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Parochial? Maybe a little. But the UK has been a disproportionately strong market for Grand Tourers like the Polestar 1 and was cited as one of the brand’s major markets. Is not offering a version suited to each market, well, a bit of a compromise?
It was left to Polestar’s British COO, Jonathan Goodman, to explain. And, admirably, his answer contained no smoke and mirrors, and no overpromising. It also contained, we would like to add, no bulls***.
“It’s an engineering cost, that’s the honest answer,” he said. “You’re not going to get me to sit here and say it’s the right thing to do - it would be a bit strange coming from an Englishman to say I don’t think we should have [right-hand drive].
“We’re building 500 cars a year [initially], so we’ve got to be realistic about how we do that. It’s not excluded the future - one of the things we want to do is put pressure to see if we can get more production volume, which is a possibility. That will depend on opportunities in the future.”
Goodman added that the Polestar 2 and 3 – which will feature five-figure annual production runs - will both come with right-hand drive from the start.
It’s an honest answer – which included no overpromising - and a fair one. At this time, Polestar still numbers just 100 employees and construction has yet to start on its production facility in Chendgu, China. Pushing through a right-hand conversion with limited resources could result in a compromised product. It’s just a shame that, if the Polestar 1 delivers on the promise it shows, anyone buying one in Britain will have to make a compromise to do so.