Remember a few months back when Volvo's rare-groove performance arm, Polestar, announced it wanted to reinvent itself as the electric performance auto brand? Its electric performance hybrid powertrain can be driven up to 150km (93 miles) on the electric motor alone, in Pure mode.
"All future cars from Polestar will be electric performance vehicles, but the Polestar 1 bridges today's technology with the future, offering the flawless drivetrain for a grand touring coupe that's likely to be used over longer distances as well as shorter, faster, enjoyable journeys". Polestar says the 3 will slot in between the 1 and the 2 in terms of pricing and production volume. An output of 600 horsepower and more than 730 pound-feet of torque is achieved by the combination of Volvo's Drive-E and two electric motors that power the rear wheels of the vehicle.
Volvo announced in July that all its new cars launched from 2019 onwards would be entirely electric or hybrids, becoming the first major manufacturer to announce it would be dropping internal combustion engine only vehicles. But that's exactly what Polestar plans to do, with two more cars in the pipeline designed explicitly to take on the Model 3 and the as-yet-unannounced Model Y.
Also in the pipeline are two more cars, dubbed Polestar 2 and Polestar 3. Likely to be based on the Volvo S90, the two-door sports auto appears to have fullsize door mirrors to indicate we are dealing with a production model rather than a concept vehicle.
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Taking the Tesla empire head-on might seem bold, especially since the Polestar 1, the brand's debut auto, isn't an electric vehicle at all, but a high-performance plug-in hybrid grand tourer with up to 93 miles of range in all-electric mode. Polestar will then refurbish the vehicle and prepare it for a secondary subscription as a high-quality pre-owned Polestar auto. Instead of paying a one off fee for the vehicle, it will be sold for a monthly subscription on either a two or three year contract. "However, for Polestar, performance is. also about cornering, braking, suspension control, chassis feedback and steering feel".
The Polestar 1 GT is the halo for the brand, Ingenlath said, and the first to wear the new Polestar logo on the hood. At the end of the contract, the customer simply returns the auto, or Polestar collects it and delivers their next Polestar experience. Almost 50 per cent of the platform is new and bespoke to Polestar 1.
The first Polestar Space is conveniently located inside the new Polestar Production Center in Chengdu, China; similar to the Porsche Experience - though to a lesser degree - potential customers will be able to test out the EVs in ways that they can't (or shouldn't) on public roads. More Polestar Spaces are expected to open beginning in early 2019. Notably, they will not be located within existing Volvo showrooms.