If every car that it builds is exciting as the Polestar 1, Volvo's decision to spin off its racing and tuning arm as a standalone environmentally responsible sportscar company could be one of the best it's ever made.
Unveiled at a special event in China, where the new cars will be built, the Polestar 1 will go on sale in 2019 and is described by its creators as a 2+2 grand tourer coupé.
"Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet. A beautiful GT with amazing technology packed into it -- a great start for our new Polestar brand," said Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo's former chief of design and the current CEO of Polestar.
The inaugural Polestar uses a hybrid powertrain to deliver a combined 600hp and 1000Nm of torque and, at 150km, it can travel further on pure battery power than any plug-in hybrid currently on sale anywhere in the world.
However, as the brand grows and the technology underpinning it matures, Polestar will move away from internal combustion assistance altogether. "All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand," said Ingenlath.
The new car closely follows the lines and creases of the achingly beautiful 2013 Volvo coupé concept that debuted at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show (and which Ingenlath penned) and that made such a huge impression on the car-obsessed that Volvo executives were inundated with demands for the car to become a reality.
Four years later that reality has arrived, and the car doesn't just look sporting, it promises to deliver on those aesthetics. It has a weight-reducing but rigidity-increasing carbon fiber shell. It is the first production car to use Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension and the addition of a double electric rear axle means that the car can push torque to the wheel that needs it most in a millisecond.
Those that want this limited production car will have to have a very fast internet connection as all ordering and specification will take place exclusively online. And, as for the pricetag, Polestar isn't charging a lump sum, rather a subscription over two or three years. This fee will cover all aspects of ownership and maintenance from automated collection for servicing and return at a designated location. The system will also permit owners to loan their cars to others via the smartphone as a key system that can give a third party geotagged, time-controlled access to the car, with the accompanying app.
Digital order books for the Polestar I will open Tuesday. And, for those that want something less sporting but even more environmentally responsible, on Tuesday the company confirmed that Polestar 2, which will be a true mass-produced car, will be an all-electric compact car aimed squarely at those otherwise considering a Tesla Model 3 when it is revealed in 2019, while the third new Polestar, due a year later, will be a larger SUV-style plug-in electric car.