Polestar, the performance company used by Volvo to soup up its cars, has announced it is splitting off as a standalone performance electric car brand. Polestar has said it will produce three cars from a new factory in China (due to be completed in mid-2018), the first of which is called the Polestar 1.
The Polestar 1 will be a four-seater Grand Tourer that is planned to roll off the production line in 2019 with a 600bhp engine and an electric performance hybrid drivetrain. This combines an electric motor with an internal combustion engine, the former offering a range of 93 miles on electric power alone.
The rear wheels will be powered by two electric motors with a total power output of 215bhp and these will be coupled to a Volvo Drive-E 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 377bhp to the front wheels. The combination of these two systems can deliver a maximum of 737lb ft of torque. So it will certainly shift.
The Polestar 1 will be built upon Volvo's Scalable Platform Architecture that debuted in 2014 on the XC90, however around 50 per cent of the platform will be brand new and bespoke to the performance car brand. Other new technologies to be used in the Polestar 1 include the Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESI) chassis technology, which makes its world debut in the 1.
Furthermore, a carbon fibre body not only lowers the car's centre of gravity, but provides extra stiffness and a double electric rear axle allows the exact amount of power needed can be sent to each wheel for maximum grip.
You won't be able to buy a Polestar car from a physical dealership, as there won't be any. However Polestar will open up entirely new "Polestar Space" where customers can interact with products and learn more about the brand. The entire ordering process however will be carried out online and cars will be bought on a two or three year subscription basis.
You won't have to pay a deposit for a car, and included in your monthly fee will be delivery and service costs, as well as the ability to rent other Volve or Polestar cars. Orders for the Polestar 1 are open now.
Polestar has confirmed that the 2 will begin production in late-2019, which will be the first battery-electric vehicle from the Volvo group and will go up against the Tesla Model 3. The Polestar 3, a larger, fully-electric SUV will complete the lineup at a later date.