an elec‍‍‍tric


It looks like an S90 coupe, but the Polestar 1 marks the start of Volvo’s new gamechanging approach in performance.

ercedes-AMG, BMW M, Audi Sport; every luxury car maker has a division dedicated to make standalone high performance models to serve as the halo of the range. These cars help raise the parent brand’s desirability to in turn drive sales back to the bread-and-butter models.


Volvo now has Polestar, but lest anyone thinks that this is a‍‍‍n answer to AMG, M, or quattro; Gothenburg’s approach is set to be markedly different from the competition. Pole‍‍‍star cars may continue to leverage on Volvo engineering, but they will not have any Volvo branding on them; instead Polestar will operate as a standalone brand.

Polestar cars will be electric powered. Kicking things off in mid-2019 will be the Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid 2+2 seater grand touring coupe, after which it will be swiftly followed by a fully-electric Tesla Model 3 competitor as well as an SUV.

Besides pioneering the use of electric power in the performance segment, Polestar also aims to revolutionize the overall brand and ownership experience. The company won’t actually be selling you a car; instead, all Polestar cars are leased out on a subscription basis and without the need for physical touch points if the customer does not want it.

Leveraging upon the technological, engineering synergies, and the significant economies of scale of Volvo Cars, Polestar is set to serve as the Volvo Car Group’s technology spearhead. Being separated from the Volvo brand, Polestar is able to experiment with more radical technology and marketing approaches whilst ensuring that the core brand continues business as usual.

The Polestar 1

Remember the Volvo Concept Coupe? Everybody thought it was a design study prelude to the S90 sedan, but turns out that Volvo had additional plans for the stylish coupe after all.

Styling-wise, the Polestar 1 is essentially the Concept Coupe pumped up with sportier, more aggressive details. In fact, it even preserves the Concept Coupe’s ambitious low bonnet that opens partly into the front wheel arch.


The Polestar 1 is features Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) but approximately half its components ar‍‍‍e new and bespoke components created by Polestar engineers.

Major body parts of the Polestar 1 are made from carbon fibre.

230kg weight ‍‍‍reduction

45%‍‍‍ increase in torsional stiffness

lower ce‍‍‍ntre of gravity

Overhang 200mm‍‍‍ shorter

Wheelbase 320mm shorter

4‍‍‍.5 meters

5.15 ‍‍‍meters

“Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet. A beautiful GT with amazing technology packed into it – a great start for our new Polestar brand. All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our bra‍‍‍nd vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand.”

– Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar.

Compared with the S90 sedan, the Polestar 1 is a much shorter car.


The Polestar 1’s Electric Performance Hybrid system features an all-new double electric motor system driving both rear wheels. In Pure mode, the Polestar 1 becomes a rear-wheel drive Electric performance car with torque vectoring enabled by a set of planetary gears connecting the two electric motors.

With its battery fully charged, the Polestar 1 offers up to 150km of full EV range – the longest of any hybrid car in the market – and ensures that many customers will only ever need the car driven purely on electric power.

“The Polestar 1 is a Performance Electric Hybrid, but with the longest pure electric range of any hybrid car in the world, we consider it an electric car with support from an internal combustion engine. 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 Coupe that’s likely to be used over longer distances as well as shorter, faster, enjoyable journeys.”

– Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar.


Keen to ensure that its first standalone car would not just a straight line wonder, Polestar is drawing upon its experience of fitting Ohlins suspension to all its previous road cars. The Polestar 1’s state-of-the-art chassis is fitted with the all-new Ohlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) – the world’s first car to incorporate this advanced chassis technology.

Each absorber is fitted with an electronic valve that constantly monitors driver inputs and road surface conditions, reacting in two milliseconds to immediately change the ride characteristics to prevailing demands. The driver can also constantly adjust suspension settings to tailor the chassis damping and ride quality to one’s own requirements.

“Most electric cars are fast – that’s a product of the attributes of an electric motor. However, for a Polestar, performance is far more holistic than just straight line speed. It’s about acceleration, of course, but it’s also about cornering, braking, suspension control, chassis feedback, and steering feel. This is what Polestar calls Progressive Performance.”

– Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar.

1996: Founded as Flash Engineering; Volvo 850 Super Touring built by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR)

1998: Volvo S40 Super Touring built by TWR

2003: Volvo S60 S2000 built by ProDrive

2005: Flash Engineering becomes Polestar

2009: Volvo C30 S2000 – first complete race project by Polestar; becomes official Volvo partner

2010: Volvo C30 Polestar Concept – first Polestar road car

2012: Volvo S60 Polestar Concept

2013: Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar – first production road car

2015: Wholly-owned by Volvo

2017: Polestar becomes standalone brand, Polestar 1 unveiled

Polestar 2 will start production later in 2019 and will be the Volvo Car Group’s first battery electric vehicle (BEV). It will be mid-sized fully-electric vehicle to compete directly against the Tesla Model 3. Now in the engineering phase, Polestar 2 is slated for higher delivery volumes than Polestar 1.

Polestar 3 is in the finishing stages of of design and will be a larger SUV-style BEV, creating a modern expression of electric performance and driving dynamics. It will sit between Polestar 1 and Polestar 2 in terms of volume and pricing.




A Timeline of Polestar Cars

“Being part of the Volvo Car Group enables Polestar to design, develop, and engineer our cars using the processes of a well-established car company, but at the same time enables us to experiment with new technology in lower volume cars outside the mainstream segments. This pace of development means as we announce the future of the company, we also already confirm that a portfolio of three Polestar cars will be on sale with the next four year timescale.”

– Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar.

Ownership by Subscription

Polestar cars are not for sale. ‘Ownersh‍‍‍ip’ of a Polestar vehicle will only be offered on a subscription basis to customers. A flat monthly fee entitles the customer to usage of a Polestar vehicle along with various concierge services.

No up front deposit is needed, and the monthly fee even covers maintenance and insurance. When it is time to service your vehicle, Polestar personnel will arrive at your door step to collect it and have the car subsequently returned.

Add-on services can be ordered as well, for a fee. Polestar customers can request anything from temporary installation of an accessory, such as a roof box, or the extended loan of a larger Volvo car if a bigger vehicle is needed.

The Polestar subscription will be for a fixed term of two to three years. At the end of the contract, the car is returned to Polestar to be refurbished and leased out again 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”‍‍‍

– Jonathan Goodman, COO of Polestar.

No Sho‍‍‍wrooms Needed

Being a new entrant to the market, Polestar has much to prove to its consumers; yet, its isolation from Volvo mean that it is free to redefine the rules on how the brand projects itself.

Seeking to be a brand that speaks to the tech-savvy, Polestar is doing its business entirely online without needing the customer to set foot into a Polestar outlet. Test drives, subscription offers, on-demand services – everything is ordered online.

For more traditional customers needing to walk into a brick-and-mortar establishment, Polestar is setting up a network of stand-alone retail Spaces across the world. These Spaces will be staffed by product experts able to walkthrough the various features of a Polestar car and facilitate test ‍‍‍drives should the customer wishes to do so. The product experts are not sales advisors and will thus not be pressuring you to sign on the order form.

In case you’re wondering, Polestar facilities will be separate from existing Volvo showrooms, although aftersales servicing work will be carried out at selected Volvo retailers. This arrangement gives customers the peace of mind that their car will be looked after by a fully-trained and professional network, but without the need to ever visit the premises thanks to pick-up and delivery servicing.

Target date for the opening of the first Polestar Space is the first quarter of 2019, followed by a ramp up as volumes grow.

Poles‍‍‍tar Production Centre in China

Time to shut those jokes on ‘Made in China’ goods. Polestar’s sole production facility in the world is being built in Chengdu, China, and is due for completion in mid-2018 ahead of the Polestar 1’s scheduled roll out.

The new Polestar Production Centre has been carefully created together with international award-winning architects, Snohetta from Norway. It will house one of the first Polestar Spaces, with a customer test track constructed within the campus to enable potential customers to evaluate the car’s extreme limits in a safe environment.

When complete, the new Polestar Production Centre will be the most environmentally-responsible car factory in China, and one of the most efficient in the world, with a target of Gold status in the global-recognized Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) ratings.

“Our new Polestar Production Centre is no ordinary car factory. It is designed for the low volume production of Polestar 1, but is also being designed to cater for the larger volumes of the future. The Production Centre has also been designed to act as a strong rep‍‍‍resentation of our brand as well as a state-of-the-art production facility.”

– Jonathan Goodman, COO of Polestar.