On 17 October 2017, Polestar officially announced its standalone status as Volvo’s electric performance brand.
All future cars from Polestar are confirmed as being fully electric. The Polestar 2 – a mid-size competing directly against the Tesla Model 3 – is scheduled to commence production as soon as 2019 and will be the first batteryelectric vehicle (BEV) from the Volvo Car Group. The car is anticipated to be the volume seller for the brand. Polestar will then phase the roll out of a larger SUV-style BEV, the Polestar 3.
However, the company’s first car is the appropriately titled Polestar 1 – a 600hp two-door 2+2 grand tourer coupé, with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The car is said to have a 93-mile (150km) range in electric power, with the engine serving up additional power once the batteries deplete. The car will be built on Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) but Polestar say approximately 50% is bespoke to the ‘1’ and includes the use of carbon fibre to reduce body weight but add torsional stiffness by 45%.
Offering interesting handling and comfort the ‘1’ uses Öhlins’ Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) advanced chassis technology and with a twin-rear motor setup the car is additionally equipped with torque vectoring. Polestar will be built at a newly purpose-built Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China, due for completion mid-2018.
The company has also announced a move away from the traditional ownership model – cars will only be purchasable online and be offered on a two or three-year subscription basis, with zero deposit. In addition, a pickup and delivery service is planned, as well as the ability to hire alternative vehicles from both the Volvo and Polestar range – all within a single monthly payment. Phone-as-key technology will further serve this business model, the company added.
However, Polestar says they recognise the value in customers being able to physically engage with the brand, so Polestar plans to open a network of Polestar Spaces. The global ‘Spaces’ will be standalone facilities, not integrated into existing Volvo showrooms, the company confirmed.
Order books for the Polestar 1 opened on 17 October 2017, with Polestar accepting expressions of interest from prospective customers.