Written by Andre James
After debuting at the major global motor shows from late 2017 through early 2018, demand for Volvo’s Polestar 1 has exceed the company’s initial projections since pre-orders commenced in March. “To date, we have received interest from over 6,000 potential customers wanting the Polestar 1. With our current plans to produce 500 cars per year, it’s possible that we have exceeded our production potential in these early stages,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar. In the United States alone, nearly 200 customers have placed a deposit, the largest number of any country.
Production of the Electric Performance Hybrid, which can travel up to 90 miles on pure electric power alone (the longest full electric range of any hybrid car on the market), will begin in mid-2019. In combination with its two-liter, four-cylinder Volvo Drive-E engine, in Power mode, the Polestar 1 delivers 600hp and 1,000Nm of torque, placing the car firmly within the performance car segment. “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 Coupé that's likely to be used over longer distances as well as shorter, faster, enjoyable journeys,” said Ingenlath.
Polestar 1 is fitted with a state-of-the-art chassis, including the all-new Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) - the world’s first car to be fitted with this advanced chassis technology. Each Öhlins shock absorber is fitted with a new electronic valve that constantly monitors driver inputs and road surface conditions, reacting in two milliseconds, to immediately change the ride characteristics to the prevailing demands. Another first on an Öhlins suspension, the driver can also make changes to the suspension settings within the car, constantly able to tailor the chassis damping and ride quality to their own requirements. Complementing the suspension technology is a powerful braking system manufactured by Akebono. The 6-piston brake calipers and 400mm discs provide maximum stopping capability.
The carbon fiber body of the Polestar 1 represents the first time that the Volvo Car Group has explored carbon fiber construction. This lightweight material, common to supercars, gives the car three significant advantages: a substantial body weight reduction, an increase in torsional stiffness of 45%, and a lower center of gravity. “When you combine this strengthened framework with the super-strong body and roof structure, you get a stiff and communicative chassis which translates driver input into superb driving characteristics,” said Christian Samson, Head of Product Creation. The use of carbon fiber also contributes to the optics of the car, allowing for a lower roofline, which results in a sleek and slender profile.
The Polestar consumer experience revolves around a unique subscription model, where customers will be able to subscribe to their Polestar car for two or three years. Linked to a host of connected and on-demand benefits like pick-up and delivery servicing, the no-deposit, all-inclusive subscription model has been designed to take the traditional hassle out of vehicle ownership with one monthly fee that includes insurance and maintenance. Purchasing the car outright will also be an option.
Polestar on-demand services can be easily ordered online or through the Polestar app and added to the one monthly invoice. As an example, the company cited a customer needing the short-term use of a roof box for a ski trip. At a time and location specified by the owner, Polestar will supply, fit and subsequently remove the roof box, adding a small incremental usage charge to their monthly invoice.
At the end of the contract, the customer simply returns the car, or Polestar collects it and delivers their next Polestar experience. Polestar will then refurbish the vehicle and prepare it for a secondary subscription as a high-quality pre-owned Polestar car.
“Our vision is that the Polestar subscription model and services that we will offer will define the Polestar brand as much as our cars will. Services that exceed the needs, desires and expectations of the premium performance car customer are at the heart of Polestar, removing the inconvenience of ownership and allowing customers to purely concentrate on the pleasure of driving a Polestar car,” said Jonathan Goodman, Chief Operating Officer of Polestar.
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