For the first time ever Polestar is releasing a car with nothing but its own badge on the hood, and boy is it a looker. Although the name on the car is completely divorced from Volvo, the car itself is anything but.

With a powerful electric motor mated to Volvo’s four-cylinder Drive-E engine, the Polestar will churn out 600 hp and a saliva-inducing 1,000 lb-ft of torque that should get it moving in a hurry. And although performance was the point, the natural benefit of such a big electric motor is that the coupe will come with 150 km (95 miles) of pure electric range, the most of any hybrid on the currently on the market.

Like the power plant, the appearance also borrows heavily from Volvo. Virtually indistinguishable from 2013’s Volvo Concept Coupe, the Polestar 1 is pretty heavily based on the legendary P1800. From the silhouette to the rounded rear end (based on the Volvo’s fins), this new 2+2 coupe’s appearance should get you salivating about as much as that torque figure.



Under the skin, the Polestar 1 shares about 50% of its parts with Volvo and is based on the Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) that underpins the XC90 and the XC60. It will, however, be its own car. The body is made out of carbon fiber, improving torsional rigidity by 45% and lowering the car’s center of gravity, not to mention its weight (which is down 230 kg [500 lbs], Polestar figures).

The Polestar 1 will also be the first car to ever feature Ohlins’ Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension. The suspension allows the car to constantly adjust to road conditions by monitoring and adjusting firmness in 2 milliseconds.

Further helping you around corners, the 1 will use a double electric rear axle. That will allow it to constantly vary torque to the rear wheels, powering the outside wheel through the corner, and keeping the car tight to the apex. Modern systems, meanwhile, only brake the inside wheel, which has the same effect, but slows the car down.



Speaking of brakes, the Polestar 1 will feature Akebono 6-piston calipers wrapped around 400 mm (15-inch) discs

“For Polestar, performance is far more holistic than just straight-line speed,” said Thomas Ingenlath, CEO. “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.”

Weirdly, though this car is going into production mid-2019, you won’t be able to buy it. Instead, those interested in having one will go online and buy a two or three-year subscription.

With no deposit, Polestar wants to offer a more “holistic” service, with pick-up, drop-off, and rent-another-Volvo services all available to subscribers. On-demand features are also being offered here, with the option to rent a roof-rack for the weekend, for example.



The whole Polestar experience will work the same way, with the Polestar 2 and 3 both expected to be offered by subscription. The Polestar 2 will be a mid-size sedan a-la Tesla Model 3, while the Polestar 3 will be an SUV.

To make the picking-up and dropping-off of these cars easier, they won’t have a key-shaped key. Instead, subscribers will use their phones, with the option to let friends, family, and well wishers use their phones as keys for a set period of time. No word on how much the subscription will cost, but it will be paid on a monthly basis.

Although production isn’t set to begin for at least a year and a half, order books have already opened, so that Polestar can take stock of the interest in its 1. You can order your Polestar 1 online, but if you need to see it in real life, the company is planning on setting up “stand-alone retail spaces” around the world to let customer interact with the cars and discuss their requirements with experts.



Polestar plans to open the first such space in the first quarter of 2019. If you need your 1 worked on, however, you’ll be able to take it to a Volvo dealership.

Polestar cars will be built at a brand new factory in Chengdu, China. The factory is currently under construction and will be completed mid-2018.

“Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet,” said Ingenlath. “All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand.”