FOCUS ON: POLESTAR
Polestar started out as a Swedish racing team, before offering high-performance modifications to Volvos, latterly as Volvo’s in-house tuning arm. But like a petrolhead joining Extinction Rebellion, it has morphed into Volvo and Geely’s flagship electric vehicle brand.
In truth, Polestar still promises strong performance, but this time it’s alongside electrification and sustainability.
AS EASY AS 1,2,3
✪ STAR CAR ✪
WHAT IS IT?
A fully electric five-door fastback.
There aren’t any direct CO2 emissions, although as with all electric cars it’s at its greenest if the electricity that charges its batteries comes from a renewable source.
WHAT’S IT POWERED BY?
Two electric motors, one for the front wheels and one for the rear. Together, they produce 408hp. That’s enough power for a claimed 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds.
HOW FAR WILL IT GO ON A TANK?
According to the WLTP test standard, the Polestar 2 has a range of up to 292 miles. That’s some way off the 348-mile WLTP range of the Tesla Model 3 Long Range, although it beats the standard Model 3’s 254 miles.
IS IT TAX EFFICIENT?
Yes. When the first examples are delivered in the summer, the 0% BiK rate for zero-emission vehicles will apply. In the 2021-22 tax year, the rate will increase slightly to 1%.
You imagine the meeting to sort Polestar’s naming strategy was a short one. The first model is the Polestar 1, the second is the Polestar 2, the third is… You get the idea.
The 1 is both the first and last of its kind; a Polestar with an internal-combustion engine. The two-door coupe is priced from £139,000, and the plug-in hybrid powertrain combines a petrol engine to drive the front wheels with two electric motors for the rear wheels. There’s also an integrated starter-generator. These sources of power generate 600hp and 1000Nm of torque, while the 34kWh batteries give an electric range of 93 miles.
As well as outright purchase, the Polestar 1 will be available through subscription. However, with such a high price, subscription and leasing costs are bound to be high. And with just 1500 left-hand drive cars being hand-made over three years, it’s certainly not going to be a common sight in the company car park.
The Polestar 2 is a battery EV, and more mainstream in its appeal. It’s our pick as ‘star car’, so there’s more info in the panel.
When the third model arrives, it will be an SUV. But don’t expect to see the 3 arriving with customers until 2022.
ELECTRIFICATION AND MORE
Polestar’s approach to sustainability goes beyond electrification. For example, the Polestar 2’s interior features no animal products.
Polestar’s head of design, Maximilian Missoni, says: “We have designed a standard vegan interior with progressive textiles that will appeal to the audience who will subscribe to Polestar 2.”
The brand aims to reduce weight, cut plastic content, and lessen waste.
“For Polestar, sustainability is not just about the electric powertrain,” says CEO Thomas Ingenlath. “With the development of innovative new solutions that we will introduce in our future cars, we make a strong statement of our intentions.”
We know a Polestar 3 is coming, and we know it will be an electric SUV. It’s expected to be available from 2022, and will have the Tesla Model X firmly in its sights.
As such, the 3 won’t be a large SUV in the style of the Volvo XC90. Instead, it will be more coupe-like and with a stronger focus on design and a dynamic driving experience.
We can also expect that Polestar isn’t going to exist in isolation from the Volvo brand. ‘Polestar Engineered’ models in the Volvo range feature performance enhancements, in a nod to Polestar’s previous role adding extra performance and driver appeal to Volvo cars.