For over 20 years, Polestar (once called Flash Engineering) has united with Volvo in a series of racing and production car projects. Since 2015, Volvo has owned Polestar outright, using the tuning brand to modify its V60 wagon and S60 sedan. Evidently, the Swedish carmaker had much bigger plans for the in-house performance division.
Earlier this year, Polestar announced it would branch out from its parent company with a subscription-based, electrified performance automotive plan. At the same time, the company revealed its first model: the Polestar 1. Now, the innovative automaker has shared the first few markets for its Polestar 1 rollout. Good news: the U.S. is among the shortlist. Other nations include China, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands.
While other automotive brands like Cadillac and Porsche are beginning to explore subscription-based business models, this strategy is totally new for Volvo and Polestar. Equally surprising is the fact that Polestar has never dabbled with an EV or hybrid production car, yet its entire lineup from here on out will use electric power.
Polestar and Volvo’s working relationship will shift slightly, but the two brands will still be linked at the hip. Going forward, Polestar will act as a technology spearhead for Volvo while utilizing Volvo’s economies of scale to produce its first cars. This symbiotic relationship will get Polestar’s models to market faster; the Polestar 1 will start production in mid-2019. All vehicles will be produced in a new facility in China.
Speaking of, the Polestar 1 will make quite the splash. Apart from its sleek, two-door coupe proportions, highlights of the plug-in hybrid drivetrain include 93 miles of all-electric range, 600 horsepower, and 738 pound-feet of torque.
“All future cars from Polestar will be electric performance vehicles, but the Polestar 1 bridges today’s technology with the future, offering the perfect drivetrain for a Grand Touring coupe that’s likely to be used over longer distances as well as shorter, faster, enjoyable journeys,” notes Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar.
Those who remember Volvo’s 2013 Concept Coupe will instantly recognize the Polestar 1’s silhouette and styling cues. A low, wide stance complements a long hood, short overhangs, and clean design language.
Based on Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA), the Polestar 1 utilizes 50-percent new, Polestar-engineered parts and measures 2.3 feet shorter than the S90 full-size sedan. The Polestar 1 will be the first road car to use Öhlins shock absorbers and adaptive damping system. Akebono is responsible for the braking system: 6-piston front calipers and 4-piston rear. Weight distribution will be a near-perfect 48:52 ratio.
Polestar will build just 500 Polestar 1 models each year. All cars will be offered on a subscription basis, paid for via a single, all-inclusive payment that can be bolstered with on-demand services.
Update: Polestar has announced the first markets to receive its electrified supercar.