Say goodbye to Volvo from the alternative future

A few years ago, Volvo diverged its performance tuning arm, Polestar, into an independent premium electrical performance brand. In 2020, Polestar announced the Polestar 1, a 619 horsepower plug-in hybrid sports coupe. This is a very limited practice. Polestar has built only 1,500 pieces in the world. It’s surprisingly expensive and starts at $ 155,000. This is nearly $ 20,000 higher than the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS. And it still looks like a Volvo — it’s a sexy Volvo, but it’s still a very Volvo.

Polestar 1 is a contradictory car. Is it a car of the future? What didn’t happen is the future obsolete car of plug-in hybrids? Did it make the intended statement about Polestar’s intent? Was it intangible? Is it rare and collectable? Or is it remembered as rare and strange?

Polestar provided Polestar 1 with the last 48 hours of turns before Polestar 1 was discontinued.

When you drive Polestar 1, de facto Brand ambassador

When driving Polestar 1, friends, family, and (in my case) sewer maintenance on the street all ask the same question — a variation of “What the hell?”. Not because Polestar 1 is particularly impressive, but some might say so. That’s because the average person (not obsessed with car media readers) doesn’t know what Polestar is.

There are no Polestar dealers (in the traditional sense). The logo is unfamiliar. Most people probably haven’t seen a wild pole star. I have never seen the super rare Polestar 1. And unless you want to be awkward and awkward with Polestar 1 on the driveway, it’s your responsibility to educate them.

Polestar 1 doesn’t really look like a $ 155,000 car

Side view of Polestar 1

Tyler Duffey

Polestar 1 is sleek and elegant. I am supposed to love it. But that’s subtle. If you pay more than $ 155,000 for a sports car, you don’t need chic Scandinavian minimalism. I want to make it look like a sports car over $ 155,000. I went out with his wife and told me the price when Polestar 1 arrived. She came back to her house and she told me “$ 45,000”.

When driving a sports car over $ 155,000, I realized I was doing the last thing you wanted to do. Drop the purchase price of Polestar 1 into a conversation and call on others to evoke the right level of excitement.

This first pole star is still very Volvo

Polestar 1 Raison Dettle Setting the tone of the Polestar brand and establishing an independent identity from Volvo. After all, a sports coupe with more than 600 horsepower is not what Volvo has traditionally built.

But Polestar 1 remains very, very Volvo-y. This is done with the same Volvo scalable product architecture that underpins virtually all Volvos. The interior was cobbled together from Volvo’s parts bin. And much is happening under the hood, like the high-performance Polestar version of today’s Volvo cars.

The gas engine has a turbocharger When Supercharged 2.0-liter in-line 4-cylinder (4 pot variation found on all Volvo cars). The engine is equipped with an integrated electric motor that also acts as a starter generator and drives the front of the car. Independent dual electric motors drive the rear wheels. The total output will be 619hp and 738lb-ft.

That’s absolutely scary.

Polestar 1 brake detail shot

Pole star

Some kind. Polestar 1 is pretty fast. You can get high performance Pirelli tires and big Akebono brakes. It’s a more spectacular tourer than a truck performer — it’s 400 pounds heavier than a Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro — though the stiff suspension reminds me of the latter. The suspension is adjustable but must be done manually. (And who wants it?)

Polestar 1 can be used for multiple purposes. It can be driven as a front-wheel drive (gasoline) or rear-wheel drive (electric) vehicle. It can be locked by all-wheel drive. You can use efficient hybrid mode or throw in power mode to achieve maximum performance. This is almost always not the way to drive it. As a result, Polestar 1 works, but beyond the 110-mile test route, it can be difficult to find a calm, natural and engaging driving setup.

That said, Polestar 1 — by the standards of expensive grand tourers — is efficient. I switched modes while driving 110 miles and drove different types of roads. Having run out of almost the entire battery, I averaged around 38mpg for a trip.

Will Polestar 1 be a collectible part of the history of the car?

Angle of view of Polestar 1

Tyler Duffey

Polestar calls Polestar 1 a “collector’s item” and treats it as one. The side panel of my test car had a Polestar 1 decal with a little explanation, as if it had already been exhibited in the museum. The effect is exacerbated by a glass display case that shows off the electrical plugs in the (very small) trunk. And it will have a rarity — and by some means it looks good on that side.

Some might argue that Polestar 1 — 619 horsepower and an EV-only range of 50 miles or more — is a great achievement. But for what? PHEVs have their strengths, but while waiting for improvements in battery technology, they have the only future as a temporary gap for high-performance cars like the BMW M5. Does Polestar 1 feel like a classic car or an outdated dead-end technology?

Some may argue that Polestar 1 proves that Volvo and Polestar have not yet achieved in terms of EV. The Polestar 1 was launched at the same time as the better, cheaper, all-electric Porsche Taycan. When Throw two extra doors. Earlier this year I drove a 1,000 horsepower Hummer at 0-60 mph, more than a second faster than the Polestar 1.

But despite that contradiction, Polestar 1 has accomplished its mission.

Polestar 1 made people talk, at least in the automotive world. You can see another reality that Polestar does not push out the limited edition Hello Sports Coupe, but instead the brand enters the market with the affordable Normcore All-Electric Liftback Polestar 2. absolutely It could have been Volvo. In that world, the reason why Polestar exists is not so clear.

Polestar 1 has inspired us to expect more from the brand. This is why, at least indirectly, many car enthusiasts are excited about the upcoming Polestar 3 crossover launch. And its more general market play success may determine how posterity treats Polestar 1.

2021 Polestar 1

Polestar 1

Pole Star / Petter Borg

Power train: 2.0-liter in-line 4-cylinder hybrid with turbocharger and supercharger. 8-speed automatic; all-wheel drive.

horsepower: 619

torque: 738 lb-ft

seat: 2 + 2

EPA rated EV range: 52 miles

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