Volvo sales figures are on the rise for some time on both continents. Yet, what is more important is the fact that Swedes has recently found a firm foothold in the field of luxury marques with distinctively elegant exterior design and incredibly sophisticated interior approach. But no premium badge is entirety without finding its spot on performance model’s grille. Volvo did venture occasionally into that field with R letter (remember 805 T5-R, 850 R, S70R, V70 R and S60 R?), while R later gave space to Polestar which gave birth to most brutal C30 that world ever saw, and currently offers fierce versions of S60 and V60. Ok, we are maybe exaggerating with just used angry adjectives, as Polestar was rather comparable with S or M Performance than RS or M, but things are destined to change.
SEPARATE AND THEN SEPARATED FROM THE MOTHER BRAND
Polestar name emerged in 2005 replacing Flash Engineering moniker, which used Volvo cars, after modifying it of course, since 1996 for professional racing purposes. In 2009 Polestar split to Polestar Performance which begins tuning process of Volvo cars intended for street and Polestar Racing which resorted to previously usual racing activities.
As with the story of AMG, which was also an independent company from the Mercedes at the beginning, Polestar Performance was purchased by Swedish carmaker two years ago turning it into its in-house tuner. Yet, Volvo soon had different plans and this year Polestar became separate brand once again with intention of performance vehicle production. It has its own badge too, which do appear as Citroen’s one, just with arrows kissing each other. Anyway, a first thing to come from it would be 2023 Polestar 1.
IT’S NOT, OR IS IT?
Yes, it is and no it isn’t. Polestar choose S90 as starting ground for its first model, conveniently dubbed 1, but it went an extra mile in justifying its (semi) independent status. What this is, is basically the production version of Volvo’s Concept Coupe from 2013, which previewed the design of S90. Volvo is not going to build it, but as we see Polestar will. Anyway, it looks as S90 without rear doors or incredibly sleek and visually refined coupe.
The cabin is usual S90’s deal, but with sporty trimmings and bright colored seat belts, while gear lever arrives from the hybrid T8 model which means Orrefors treated work of art. Overall, whole deal burst with elegance in very unadulterated fashion, and its cleanness and simplicity are refreshing in a world full of aggressively and frantically styled sports cars.
2020 POLESTAR 1 SPECS
We actually don’t care about Polestar company’s official status, we just care about the level of performance that new label will bring. And if that means new badge and separation Volvo, then be it… So, Polestar S60 and V60 took the middle ground in performance war, but Polestar 1 would not. How about 600 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque sound like? That’s proper AMG E63 S, CTS-V, GS F or M5 territory. And there is more, in form of rear torque vectoring for each wheel, adaptive dampers by Ohlins, six-piston calipers by Akebono and carbon fiber body panels (shaving 500 pounds of weight). Mentioned high level of power comes from, for Volvo ubiquitous, 2.0-liter L4 which is, in this case, turbocharged, supercharged and joined by two electric motors. That’s right, Polestar 1 is not BEV vehicle, rather a PHEV one, despite brand promised dedication just to fully electric cars. It turns that all other after it will be pure EVs, but never mind as this will be a hell of a plug-in hybrid. Swedes claim 93 miles in all-electric mode, and that is an enormous figure giving that Chevy Volt now offers 53 miles which is usually twice as big as numbers available with other PHEV products.
2020 POLESTAR 1 RELEASE DATE AND PRICE
2020 Polestar 1 is set to be built in China in limited numbers (500 annually) starting from 2019. Giving that Polestar now plays as “independent” player, models won’t be sold through Volvo dealer’s lots rather online, while servicing will be pick up and drop-off scheme, again avoiding your visitation of Volvo’s premises. Order books are already open! Price? You can lease it, while purchase price is estimated around $150k. What? Yeah… That’s $50k more than AMG E63 or M5, or $65k more than GS F and CTS-V. We are not even going into what you could actually buy for that kind of money… Just scratch everything good that was sad about this thing, being limited or not we don’t care, as that pile of cash for beefed-up Volvo S90 is just outrageous from all aspects.
Written by Djordje (George) Mijatov ([email protected])