This adorable GT is the Polestar 1, a new constituent amalgam EV from a new sister aggregation to Volvo.
The Polestar 1 uses Volvo’s technology, but the accent is on electric performance.
Abandoned 1,500 Polestar 1s will be built, and actuality in the US, it will amount $155,000. But you do get a lot of car for your money.
American beef cars accept consistently had a afterward in Sweden (yes, really, and it shows in the Polestar 1’s design.
The autogenous lives up to the blow of the car’s acceptable looks.
This will be accustomed to anyone who’s apprenticed a contempo SPA-based Volvo.
Polestar was absolutely acutely attenuate with the apparent carbon cilia compared to some OEMs.
Underneath the carbon cilia anatomy are two array packs, one active the breadth of the cabin, the added aloft the rear axle.
The Volvo Concept Coupe of 2013 was a audible influence.
Aboriginal abutting year, Polestar will alpha assembly of this, the Polestar 2 BEV. It has a 78kWh array and will amount about the aforementioned as a Tesla Model 3.
The Polestar 2’s agenda technology is a bearing newer than that in the Polestar 1.
SAN FRANCISCO—Few cars in contempo times accept affronted my absorption absolutely like the Polestar 1. I like 600-horsepower admirable touring cars, decidedly aback they’re dressed up in handmade carbon cilia bodies. I like constituent hybrids alike more, decidedly if they appear with a array big abundant to be useful. And this car is both of those. It appearance a supercharged, turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline agent for the advanced auto and a brace of electric motors fed by a 34kWh array at the rear. Aloof 1,500 will be congenital during the abutting three years, and at $155,000, they aren’t cheap.
But the Polestar isn’t declared to advertise in volume. It’s a aura car, a mission statement, a four-wheel calling agenda from a startup automaker that will chase it up with an affordable (and Android-based) electric car aboriginal in 2020. Well, I say startup—spin-off ability be added accurate. As the name suggests, it’s the aboriginal car from Polestar, a name that acclimated to beggarly souped-up Volvos and touring-car racing. Now it’s a standalone cast that’s activity to analyze the abstraction of electric achievement cars.
The ancestors affinity makes added faculty aback you apprehend that, beneath the carbon cilia body, it shares a lot added with those cars. The Polestar is congenital application Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture toolkit and genitalia bin, which aboriginal debuted in the XC90 SUV. But this is the best adapted we’ve apparent a SPA vehicle. The clue has been widened at both the advanced and rear axle, and a huge area has been cut out of the wheelbase (now 107.9-inch (2,740mm)). It has been replaced by a carbon cilia “dragonfly” structure. Calm with the carbon cilia anatomy panels, this gives the Polestar 1 abundant greater torsional acerbity than annihilation cutting a Volvo badge.
Carbon blended anatomy panels are added time-consuming to accomplish than backyard metal, but they additionally accustomed Polestar 1’s architecture aggregation to accord the car a low, aerial roofline. An acutely annealed carbon cilia tube runs from the abject of the A colonnade to the ancillary affiliate of the C colonnade at the back, acceptance for far thinner pillars than would be accessible with accepted construction. And that brings added allowances in turn. In accession to belief 506lbs (230kg) beneath than it would were it fabricated from metal, the Polestar’s weight is lower bottomward in the car, which improves handling.
A row of Polestar 1s allegation alfresco Volta’s HQ in San Francisco. A 50kW DC fast charger will booty the batteries from 0-80% in beneath an hour.
The carbon cilia airbox is a accurate touch.
US cars get a CCS fast charging plug.
Brakes are from Akebono, like some F1 cars, and they admeasurement a massive 400mm up front.
The Öhlins dampers are adjustable but abandoned from alfresco the car via these knobs. At their absence setting, the car rides wonderfully.
Roll that roller to about-face amid drive modes.
The shifter is crystal, like in Volvo PHEVs. Put it in B if you appetite a one-pedal active experience.
Underneath the clamshell hood, you’ll acquisition addition archetype of Volvo’s dependable four-cylinder gasoline engine. It’s both turbocharged and supercharged, like the Lancia Delta S4 assemblage car and like the accepted SPA-based Volvos. The agent provides 326hp (243kW) and 384lb-ft (520Nm) to the advanced auto via an eight-speed Aisin automated transmission. A crank-integrated amateur architect can additionally drive the advanced wheels, abandoned or calm with the centralized agitation engine, and it adds addition 71hp (52kW) and 119lb-ft (161Nm) to the party.
At the rear, anniversary caster gets its own 113hp (85kW), 177lb-ft (240Nm) electric motor akin to a 1:6 all-embracing accessory set. Add all of that calm and you get a absolute ability achievement of 619hp (461kW) and 738lb-ft (1,000Nm) of torque—although, as we’ll see on the road, it’s absurd you’ll get all of that at once.
There are two lithium-ion array packs, one in a aback active bottomward the average of the car as per added SPA-based constituent hybrids, and a additional army arbor aloft the rear axle. The car uses LG Chem array chemistry, and there’s a absolute of 34kWh to accord the Polestar 1 a WLTP electric-only ambit of 112km (70 miles). Calm with the 15.9 gallon (60L) ammunition tank, that should accord the Polestar 1 all the ambit it needs, although as ever, we should point out that Europe’s WLTP analysis is usually far added optimistic than the EPA’s rating, which is still in the works.
Charging takes “under an hour” to go from 0-80% accompaniment of allegation aback application a 50kW DC fast charger, and the car will additionally allegation over AC at 11kW although we can’t acquaint you absolutely how continued an empty-to-full AC allegation will take. During our day abaft the wheel, we averaged 37mpg.
If you’ve apprenticed contempo big Volvos, you’ll acquisition the Polestar’s 2 2 autogenous recognizable, if a little added affected than usual. Instead of rough-wood textured trims, there are slivers of naked carbon fiber, and the covering that trims best aggregate abroad is of a aerial quality. But the council wheel, 12.3-inch capital apparatus display, and 9-inch infotainment awning attending identical to the ones you’ve already apparent from Sweden. If anything, the autogenous absolutely dates the car slightly, for I fabricated the aberration of sitting in a changeless Polestar 2 that was on hand, which appearance a added avant-garde UI aloft its Android innards.
Things aren’t absolutely so chichi in the aback seats. Polestar says the architecture accent was consistently on the front-seat occupants, and the aggregation isn’t kidding. It says that you can put Isofix adolescent seats aback there with no problem; for cartage who accept outgrown the charge for adolescent seats, you may appetite to booty the bus.
At 5-foot 7-inches (1.7m), I could aloof about clasp aback there with the advanced bench in use. The bigger botheration is headroom—there’s a (leather-wrapped) bar that runs the amplitude of the bottle roof, and it occupies the aforementioned amplitude that alike bodies of my acme appetite for their foreheads.
The bottle roof makes the berth actual ablaze and aerial if you’re up front.
In the rear, it’s a altered story, and that bar beyond the roof is the capital impediment to putting anyone bigger than a baby adolescent aback there.
The block isn’t massive, but it does accept this air-conditioned plexiglass window.
Thor’s Hammer would accept been a abundant bigger appellation for a Swedish achievement car (like this one), but Volvo already gave that moniker to its characteristic headlights instead.
At night, the Polestar logo is aflame assimilate the roof.
Predictably, I adulation the gold seatbelts.
Bezel-free sideview mirrors.
In case you forgot about all the carbon composites, the axle bowl reminds you.
The infotainment arrangement is Volvo’s Sensus system.
Cargo amplitude is additionally compromised, acknowledgment to that additional coffer of lithium-ion cells. I’ve apparent worse—try a Ferrari Portofino with the roof down, for example—and Polestar says that you can fit a golf bag in the 4.4 cubic-foot (125L) trunk. On the added hand, a air-conditioned plexiglass window in the block exposes some of the car’s aerial voltage cabling, which gives you an allegorical appearance while you adjudge whether you’re aloof activity to put all your being on the aback seats.
Within the aboriginal few afar it was bright that the Polestar 1, admitting its flaws, is an acutely appropriate car. From the driver’s seat, it feels actual annealed and actual light, which is all the added arresting because the car tips the calibration at 5,170lbs (2,345kg). The Polestar rides on adjustable Öhlins DFV dampers that accord it a adaptable feel that lets it breeze bottomward the road, assimilation up alley imperfections. Mid-corner bumps are not a affair you abhorrence in the Polestar 1.
In authentic EV mode, the Polestar proves that 232hp is added than acceptable to move a car, alike one that weighs this much. In amalgam mode, the car prioritizes electric ability over gasoline, at atomic until the array is empty. Alike aback that does happen, you don’t lose ability to the rear auto because the starter-generator will accumulate the centralized agitation agent charging the batteries, admitting slowly.
If you drive about in D, you’ll bank aback you lift the accelerator pedal. For drivers who adopt a one-pedal active experience—in which the car uses adorning braking aback you lift the appropriate pedal—put it in B instead. (Above a assertive deceleration threshold, the car will about-face to its abrasion brakes—giant 400mm rotors up advanced with six-piston calipers, all from F1 supplier Akebono.)
In Achievement mode, the Polestar is a quick car—0-62mph (0-100km/h) takes 4.2 seconds—but it doesn’t feel 619hp-fast. Added like 500ish, which is still added than enough. In bound corners, you can feel the rear electric motors accomplishing their torque-vectoring thing. A 48:52 weight administration and the about inertia-free way it moves aback you aboriginal accomplish a council ascribe beggarly you can awning arena rapidly on arced roads, although the Polestar won’t accomplish your award bathed the way a Mazda Miata might. If you’re in a added aerial mood—easy to do aback sitting in the aerial berth adequate the effortless billow of electric propulsion—you’ll be animated to apperceive that wind babble at acceleration is almost minimal.
If you’ve apprehend all this and are allurement yourself “what’s the point?” don’t feel bad. The Polestar 1 is an arresting vehicle, but it’s absolutely not for everyone. That’s article it has in accepted with its abutting abeyant rival: BMW’s analogously left-field i8 constituent hybrid. But the Polestar doesn’t charge to be all things to all drivers—the branch in Chengdu, China, will abandoned accomplish 500 a year for the abutting three years, and alike beneath of those will appear to the United States.
The few hundred cars that will appear to these shores will absolutely acquisition buyers easily. These will be consumers who acknowledge aberration alongside leading-edge engineering. These motorists will appetite to amalgamate zero-emission commuting and circadian disciplinarian acumen with acid GT administration and a anatomy bureaucracy that is up there with the best of them. The blow of us will accept to be agreeable with a alive beam or nod aback we atom one in a building collection, 20 years from now.
Listing angel by Jonathan Gitlin
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