Volvo’s go-faster division has unveiled its Polestar 1 at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show.
It’s not just a new sports car form Volvo, it marks the debut of a new ownership experience.
But first, the good stuff. Volvo calls the Polestar 1 an electric performance hybrid (EPH). Between the 2.0-litre turbo four and an electric motor, the 1 has 441kW (600hp) and a whopping 1000Nm. The two electric motors produce 160kW (218hp) and drive the rear wheels. The turbo four looks after the front wheels and supplies juice for either greater range or raging on. Battery power weighs in at 34kWh.
In electric-only mode you’ll get around 150km (92 miles), which Volvo reckons is ample (sorry) for electric mode requirements. Fire up the Power mode, everything works together for the maximum power output and you’ve got an all-wheel drive sports 2+2 coupe grand tourer.
The 1 is based on Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA). Found under the S90, Volvo knocked 65cm out of the length and 320mm from the wheelbase. The company also reckons that the 50% of the SPA platform is new for the 1.
As with previous Polestar offerings, the 1 features Öhlins suspension. The 1 also has driver selectable settings, which Volvo says is a first for Öhlins. Each shock absorber features an electronic valve that can react within two milliseconds to changes in the road surface.
Braking is from Akebono, with six piston calipers up front gripping whopping 400mm discs.
Body panels made from carbon fibre apparently save 230kg and help sort out the weight distribution of 48:52 front to rear. Naturally, composite panels lower the centre of gravity too.
Here’s where the Polestar 1 takes things to a new place – you can subscribe to the car for two or three years. The idea is you basically rent the car and put petrol/electrons in it. Polestar will come and get the car for servicing and return it, with the whole process covered by the subscription fee.
At the end of the subscription Polestar will come and get the car, replace it or you can buy it. After they take it away, the car is refurbished and offered for subscription.
You’ll also be able to order things like a roof box for your skiing holiday, delivered, fitted and taken away when you’re done with the cost added to your subscription fee. You can also rent another Volvo, say, an XC90, when the family is visiting or you’re off on holidays. Or just get a car wash.
When, What, How?
Polestar’s new Chengdu Production facility will kick off the 1’s production in mid-2019. Just 500 Polestar 1’s will be made each year. Polestar 2 and 3 will follow the 1 down the line in late 2019. Polestar says the 2 is a mid-size battery-powered sedan while the 3 is an SUV.
Volvo will take your money as a deposit from 13th March. Launch markets include U.S.A., China, Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, Belgium, Finland, France, Poland, Austria, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Portugal and Canada. To kick off your subscription, visit a Polestar Space (yeah, that’s what the dealers are called) but for now, a fully-refundable €2500 deposit will secure your car.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.