The Polestar 1 is the brand’s first standalone model since it split from Volvo.
A car to show what Polestar can achieve on its own two wheels, and after a comprehensive test, the motoring editor is so impressed that the Polestar 1 is vying for his all-time favorite car title.
I’m about to do something dumb, but I’m going to have to pull over once more. Get away of here. Take a look at it from the side. The view from the front. Kneel down and follow the line of its hips. Take a look at it from the back. Take a look at how the rear lights, which are shaped like a boomerang, capture the bold hedge. Pole-star 1 is one of those things that I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of looking at. It’s more than a vehicle. It’s a piece of industrial art on wheels, in my opinion. A Jaguar F-Type, on the other hand, is classic and undeniably attractive. It’s not as violently beautiful as a Ferrari Roma, but it’s ageless, graceful, and mature, with a stunning beauty that takes my breath away.
At first appearance, the Swede lacks the wow factor of a Lamborghini. But the more I use it, the more wonderful it becomes. The automobile is as elegant as a Spitfire fighter or a Riva speedboat from Italy. Not ostentatious or presumptuous in any way. Perfectly modest and flawless.
Beauty is now, of course, defined by the viewer’s subjective preferences. But, of the 2,000 or so automobiles I’ve evaluated over the years, this is without a doubt one of the most gorgeous.
When Volvo decided to spin out Polestar and establish it a separate brand in the mid-2010s, it set out to create a car that the market had never seen before. A car that would raise the bar as high as the start-up company could manage in terms of engineering, technology, and design. It wasn’t going to be a car to earn money; it was going to be a car to demonstrate the capabilities of the new firm.
It may sound excessively self-congratulatory, but the end result is far from a self-congratulatory ode to engineering. The outcome is one of the world’s most compelling plug-in hybrid sports vehicles. The car has four-wheel drive, 600 horsepower, a range of over 120 kilometers on a single charge, and a 0-100mph time of 4.2 seconds. All of this is wrapped up in the most beautiful production automobile body I’ve seen this millennium. Only 1,500 cars will be produced before production ends at the end of the year, making it a significant achievement.
“The Polestar 1 is more than a vehicle. It’s a piece of industrial art on wheels, in my opinion.”
I’ll admit it: I’m a car-aesthete to a fault. A design aficionado who places a premium on a car’s visual appeal.
Thomas Ingenlath, the former chief designer at Volvo and the man behind both Volvo and Polestar’s current design language, is the company’s director. The cars are already ahead on points long before the start button is touched in a language I find as delightful as Italian. Beautiful design would definitely not suffice if the car drove like a flat sack truck. Fortunately, the Polestar 1 performs admirably on the road. Not as uncompromising and potently athletic as the statistics and design suggest, but impressive enough to define its role as a gran tourer rather than a sports car.
Despite a new and super-advanced carbon-fibre construction, the car weighs 2,350 kg and has 600 horsepower and 1,000 Nm of torque. It also hits 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds. That’s nearly identical to a Bentley GT Speed with a six-litre W12 engine. The Polestar 1’s motor is based on a two-liter turbocharged petrol engine driving the front wheels. Two electric motors drive the rear wheels from the back axle. There is also a small electric motor incorporated within the gearbox, making it three electric motors and one petrol engine. They operate together in Power mode to give the car its fierce power, and all-wheel drive works brilliantly on tricky roads. The connection between the several elements in the engine is flawless, and you don’t even notice when one of them kicks in.
The petrol engine, on the other hand, is without a doubt the most powerful of the lot. When pushed to its limits, the Polestar 1 behaves more like a powerful front-wheel puller than a rear-wheel puller. Even if you’re accelerating hard out of a bend, you can’t get the car to let off a little on the rear wheels.
However, it does not become nose-heavy, and the weight distribution shows that the rear axle bears 52 percent of the weight. The Polestar 1 pulls out of corners more than it pushes because it puts more power into the front wheels. Personally, I don’t think that’s a recipe for a fun drive, but when it comes to gripping the ground, the car is as effective as a sucker on the inside of an aquarium.
In terms of driving characteristics, though, the Swede does not disappoint. It’s excellent company on long excursions, and here is where the car shines as a grand tourer. Its power surplus makes it an ideal long-distance companion, but it’s also fantastic in the city. The car handles bumps effectively, and the motor performs admirably at both 40 and 130 km/h. Its strength as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) in city driving is demonstrated by the fact that it can travel many kilometers on pure electric power.
The Polestar 1 has a 34-kilowatt-hour battery, which is enormous for this type of vehicle. With 123 kilometers on pure electricity, the Swede sets the standard in PHEV-land, and it is also the leader in charging. In reality, a DC fast charger can charge it at up to 50 kW, which means it can be fully charged in roughly 45 minutes. That’s great, and it’s even more impressive when you consider the automobile was only released in 2019. We’re only testing the Polestar now because it just arrived in Denmark this year. It emphasizes everything.
how effectively Polestar accomplished their goal of creating a car that defied expectations and set entirely new benchmarks
The tight family links to Volvo are also visible in the cabin. The infotainment system and digital instrument cluster are similar to those of a Volvo V90, with the same sleek aesthetics. However, it outperforms Volvo in terms of material and assembly quality, despite the fact that Volvo is otherwise well ahead in the premium segment. The Polestar 1 cabin is created with care and attention to detail, which helps to justify the £1.8 million price tag. It’s not as flashy as a Bentley or a DS Automobiles model, but it’s just as luxurious, with lush leather, carbon fiber, and gorgeous stitching.
The Polestar 1 is a 2+2 like a Porsche 911, however the back seats are largely for sporting baggage, just like the South German. Because part of the huge battery and the car’s electronics are buried between the back seat and the boot, the boot is likewise small, holding only 143 litres. Polestar has put a glass into the car’s electrical compartment, so you can view some of the electronics from the boot. Though the vast majority will have no idea what they’re looking at, it’s a nice concept. Included is your test driver.
While the car doesn’t have the same driving sensation as a Porsche 911, it’s nevertheless a fantastic first effort from Polestar. What it lacks in parish-road fun, it makes up for in aesthetic pleasure, long-distance excess, and new PHEV range standards.
Polestar 1 will be the Swedish brand’s first and last PHEV, while Polestar 2 and Polestar 3 will be all-electric vehicles. As a result, while version 1 defines the new brand’s name, it also acts as a link between the worlds of yesterday and tomorrow.
It’s one of the few automobiles that can be shown at both an electric car show and a track day for performance cars. It’s a fairly unique posture, and it’s probably only been done once before by the BMW i8. As a result, the Polestar 1 resembles an athletic decathlete who isn’t a world champion in a single discipline, but excels in so many that it emerges as the most powerful in the end.
It is at the top of my automotive wish list for 2021 as a generalist, and when we add the discipline of pure visual beauty, it tops everything and everyone in the new car market right now in my opinion. It never ceases to fascinate me.
An electric motor and a 2.0 litre turbo petrol engine
600 hp power output
1,000 Nm Torque
4.2 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h
Maximum speed is 250 km/h.
123 km electric range (WLTP)
142 km/l fuel consumption (WLTP)
The price is 177.000 euros.