There is no denying that almost every automaker is taking a few pages out of the Tesla playbook nowadays. They realize the future is electric, and in order to catch up with Elon they must create compelling electric cars with performance in mind. Volvo has taken huge steps to reinvent themselves as an upscale and tech savvy automaker, so with it’s new standalone performance brand, Polestar, they are primed to make a splash in this growing segment.
Their first go at Tesla will be in the form of a 600-horsepower sports coupe call the Polestar 1. The couple will be a hybrid with an all-electric range of 93 miles. It’s 2.0 liter gasoline engine will power the front wheels and each rear wheel will receive its own electric motor. The Polestar will carry three batteries, one in the rear and two in the tunnel. When running in hybrid mode the car will not only make 600 horsepower, but 738 lb-ft of torque as well.
The Polestar 1 will have a carbon-fiber body to help offset the weight of the batteries, and provide for a stronger and stiffer structure. Along with torque vectoring provided by the rear electric motors, this car will feature Ohlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension. This system allows the driver to change suspension settings from inside the car depending on the driving conditions. Polestar expects production to start in 2019 and so far only 500 units will be made.
At a press event in Shanghai, Polestar’s CEO Thomas Ingenlath said two other vehicles are planned to be released after Polestar 1 and they will be fully electric. Polestar 2 will be a midsized electric car meant to compete with the Model 3 and Polestar 3 will be a fully electric SUV.
While all Polestar cars can be serviced at Volvo dealerships, the buying experience is totally unique. All sales will be made online and there will be a subscription service where buyers can sign up for additional features. The buyer’s monthly subscription will include pick up and delivery, the option to rent a larger vehicle or even add a roof box. You can also bundle insurance and maintenance into your payment as well.
There is no doubt some of the tech and purchasing model will trickle down to Volvo. What the Polestar brand adds is so much more than it’s cars directly. It allows Volvo to experiment and test new ideas before introducing them to the main brand. These are exciting times we live in, and it’s great to see another large auto maker stepping outside of their normal boundaries.