Polestar was once Volvo’s in-house tuner division, but it has since spun off to become its own brand. Using Shanghai as its launch pad, Polestar has revealed the Polestar 1, a 600 horsepower hybrid coupe. And despite the technical segregation between Volvo and Polestar, a spiritual link clearly continues.
The Polestar 1 is built atop Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which is the same platform that underpins all of Volvo’s new 60 and 90-series vehicles, up to the XC90 crossover. Perhaps more striking is just how much the Polestar 1 looks like a Volvo, inside and out.
On the outside, the 1 has the Thor’s hammer headlight treatment that’s become iconic of Volvo products. It’s grille and overall shaping all remind of Volvo; perhaps of the Volvo Concept Coupe from a few years ago, despite the badge on the hood being that of the new Polestar brand.
This 2+2 grand coupe is powered by a Volvo Drive-E plug-in hybrid powertrain, as well. This means the combined gas engine and electric motors generate a staggering 600 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. About 218 horsepower of the 600 is produced by the electric motors and the Polestar 1 packs enough juice to go up to 90 miles per charge.
“We consider it an electric car with support from an internal combustion engine,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. “The Polestar 1 bridges today’s technology with the future.”
Polestar has already confirmed it plans to be an all-electric automaker, so the 1 is apparently a one-off from the overall product plan.
Inside the Polestar 1 is like stepping into a Volvo S90 sedan, which isn’t a bad place to be. Polestar has made some tweaks to the interior, but generally the Volvo roots are deeply engrained into this sanctuary.
If you’re interested in purchasing a new Polestar 1, forget about it. The brand is only offering its vehicles through a subscription service on two or three year terms. The subscription service includes insurance and maintenance. In the case of the Polestar 1, the company is only producing 500 copies per year, so that lowers your odds of snagging one even further.
Polestar will open the order banks for the 1 today, but production is not slated to commence in China until mid-2019.
In addition to announcing the Polestar 1, the brand has also confirmed the Polestar 2, which will be a mid-size sedan. The 2 will compete directly with the Tesla Model 3 and be produced in higher volumes than the 1. The Polestar 2 is expected by the end of 2019.
Polestar 3 is what the brand calls an “large SUV-like” electric vehicle. The timing for the 3 was not disclosed.
All Polestar products will be produced in Chengdu, China.