Meet the Polestar 1 performance plug-in hybrid

Polestar New Model

Meet the Polestar 1 performance plug-in hybrid

In a move away from the traditional ownership model, Polestar cars will be ordered online and offered on a two- or three-year subscription.

The Swedish manufacturer also confirmed Polestar 2 - a mid-size battery-electric vehicle to rival the likes of the Tesla Model 3 - would start production in 2019.

The most high-profile competitor to the Polestar in the mass electric performance market at the moment is Elon Musk's Tesla Model 3, which already has 500,000 pre-orders.

The Polestar 1 is based upon Volvo's Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) but approximately 50% is new and bespoke, created by Polestar's engineers.

As such, the 1 features several world-first technologies, headlined by a Ohlins "Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension" (CESi), which includes electronic valves fitted with each shock absorber that react to driving and road conditions within two milliseconds.

The new Polestar 1 will have a carbon fibre body along with a traction improving double electric rear axle, which should make it faster and easier to drive. Braking is handled by 400mm discs with six-piston callipers manufactured by Akebono.

Another crucial factor in living up to the promise of being a true driver's auto is the fitment of a double electric rear axle that enables torque vectoring. The 2.0-liter gas engine powers the front wheels.

The 600 horse-power Polestar 1, described as "an electric vehicle supported by a traditional internal combustion engine", was unveiled on Shanghai on Tuesday. The new performance model will also be capable of running on electricity alone for 150km (93 miles), which is the longest all-electric range of any hybrid model in the market. A post from Polestar on the company's official Instagram page indicated in two separate comments that the subscription service won't be the only option.

On the outside, the Polestar 1 looks like a tricked-out Volvo XC90 saloon, but under the surface, it'll be very different.

The company says Polestar facilities "will not be located within an existing Volvo retailer showroom".

"Polestar 1 is the first auto to carry the Polestar on the bonnet". "A lovely GT with cutting edge technology - a great start for our new Polestar brand".

On the powertrain side, the Polestar 1 has a new double electric rear axle, which enables torque vectoring for better cornering in this rear-drive electric performance vehicle.

Volvo Car Group claims the initial phase of the Polestar product rollout will be completed by the arrival of a larger SUV-style BEV, the Polestar 3. After a fixed term of two or three years, the vehicle will go back to Polestar for refurbishment, and it'll again be made available for customers to use on another "pre-owned" subscription term.

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