Revealed: The Polestar 1 Performance Hybrid

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After we gave you your first look at the new Polestar 1 – the first model from Polestar after establishing themselves as a standalone performance electric brand – today the Swedish based firm has unveiled the Polestar 1 in full.

 

Based upon the SPA modular architecture that underpins the Volvo S90, the Polestar 1 is an achingly beautiful 2+2 seater, 2-door GT coupe.  Set for a global launch in mid-2019, the Polestar 1 is fitted with what Polestar terms as an Electric Performance Hybrid drivetrain.

 

Measuring 4.5 metres in length, the Polestar 1 is shorter than the S90, losing 320mm from the wheelbase with a further 200mm being cut from the rear of the platform.

 

Technological Highlights

 

Despite being based on Volvos SPA (Scalable Platform Architecture), Thomas Ingenlath, Ceo of Polestar, claims that approximately 50% of the chassis is entirely new and bespoke for the Polestar 1, created by Polestar’s engineers.

 

In addition, the bodywork is constructed largely from carbon fibre, not only reducing weight by 230kg, but improving torsional rigidity by 45%, as well as lowering the car’s centre of gravity.  With a weight distribution of 48:52 front:rear, the Polestar 1 is also incredibly well balanced – an attribute that should greatly increase handling ability.

 

The Electric Performance Hybrid drivetrain in the Polestar 1 features a double electric rear axle, with one electric motor assigned per rear wheel – providing true torque vectoring capabilities, and enabling individual acceleration on each wheel to improve grip and maintain cornering speed.  The twin electric motors, paired via planetary gears, produce 163kW (218hp) and are mated to an Integrated Starter Generator – a 3rd electric motor integrated into the drivetrain to allow seamless integration of electric and combustion power.

 

In electric only mode, the Polestar 1 delivers a claimed range of 150km – about as much as a pure-electric BMW i3.

The electric motors driving the rear axle combine with an advanced Drive-E petrol engine, a 2.0-liter twincharged (turbocharger + supercharger) 4 cylinder unit, driving the front wheels.  In Power mode, the two propulsion systems combine to generate a total combined output of 448kW (600hp) and 1000Nm of peak torque.  Performance figures for the Polestar 1 haven’t yet been revealed, but with that much torque and all-wheel drive, expect the 0-100km/h sprint to be in the 4 second region, if not below.

 

For an extended range, the drivetrain can be used in hybrid mode that adjusts the use of electric and combustion power to maximise range.

 

Stopping power is taken care of by Akebono brakes, featuring six-piston callipers and 400mm diameter discs to ensure potent stopping when the anchors are dropped.

 

To improve upon the base architecture’s handling attributes the Polestar 1 is the world’s first car to feature Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi).  This technology equips each Öhlins shock absorber with an electronic valve that constantly monitors driver inputs and the road surface, responding within two milliseconds to change the ride characteristics accordingly.  Changes can also be made to the suspension system from within the cabin – a first for Öhlins – allowing a completely tailored ride quality and chassis damping to suit the situation.

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Polestar 1 Ownership

 

A unique vehicle like the Polestar 1 demands a unique method of purchase and ownership.  With the Polestar 1, Polestar will be pioneering an entirely online order process, and the vehicle will be offered with either 2 or 3 year subscription options with zero deposit.  Buyers will be able to order the Polestar 1 via a Smartphone app or through the online portal.  But there will also be Polestar Spaces around the world where potential buyers can get up close and interact with the Polestar 1 in a more traditional manner.

 

The subscription style of ownership is an advancement of the plan announced with the Volvo XC40, and will include unique features such as pick-up and delivery servicing, the ability to rent alternative Volvo or Polestar vehicles when needed, and the ability to rent roof-boxes and other add-ons that will be equipped as and when the driver requires them to be.

 

The Polestar 1 will also forego the traditional car key, utilising Phone-As-Key technology, allowing the owner to share a virtual key with a third party if need be.

 

Production, Arrival, and More Polestar Models

 

The Polestar 1 will be produced at a new state of the art facility in China.  The Geely Corporation that owns Volvo and Polestar will be investing 640 million Euros into Polestar, developing a new factory and development centre.

 

The Polestar 1 is targeted for a global release in the first quarter of 2019, with more Polestar models joining subsequently. These will include Polestar 2 – a mid-sized battery electric (full electric) vehicle targeting the Tesla Model 3 that will join the range before the end of 2019.  The next model to join the line-up will be the Polestar 3, a full-sized battery-electric SUV.

 

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