The Polestar 1 From Volvo Is A Tesla Killer

Volvo is generally a bit of a sedate, safe company, but its Polestar cars like the S60 are performance-oriented, refined road-going machines. Polestar is being spun off into a standalone brand, and its first car is a 450kW hybrid-electric monster with a boatload of torque.

The Polestar 1 is a carbon fibre-bodied 2+2 grand tourer with a 450kW electric motor capable of developing 1000Nm of torque through twin electric motors on the rear axle, all while travelling 150km on battery power alone from its three batteries. That range is supplemented by an internal combustion engine operating as a range extender, too, so you won't be caught short. It looks pretty luxe inside and outside, too, and it'll be built in a brand new production facility being put together by Volvo in Chengdu, China.

Polestar cars, the company says, will be ordered entirely online and offered not for straight-up ownership (...boo) but on a two- or three-year subscription basis. No deposit, inclusive of servicing, and with the ability to loan out other vehicles from the Volvo stable, but still, you don't own the car you're paying for monthly. You won't even get a key -- the Polestar 1 will have a virtual key through your phone, and you'll be able to share it with friends.

Even the business model is Tesla-ish. With ordering done online, no dealerships will need to be created. Instead, "Polestar Spaces" in standalone facilities -- not Volvo showrooms -- will be put together to show off the company's cars. Tesla has done this for a while, including in the US where it uses its "galleries" to get around some states' byzantine car dealership legislation.

But here's the kicker. The next car from Polestar will be the inventively named Polestar 2, which will be a purely battery-electric vehicle starting production some time in 2019. Even Polestar says it will join "the competition around the Tesla Model 3", and a la the Tesla Roadster-to-Model-S transition, the Polestar 2 will be built and shipped in significantly higher volumes than the 1. [Polestar]

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Comments

    This looks brilliant.

    I have a 2013 Volvo C30 T5-Rdesign Polestar and it's such a fun little pocket rocket. And the good thing about Volvo is that (at least in Sydney where I am) they tend to be a lot cheaper to insure than the other cars i was looking at when I got it (Scirocco/ Megane RS/ Etc)...I guess not many people want to steal them :P

    Can't wait to hear more about this.

      Maybe it comes with insurance, I would hope so as it won't be cheap to insure with 450kW and 1000Nm.

      I had an MY09 C30 T-5 R-Design and absolutely loved it! Took it to a few track days and had so much fun with it!

      But alas, the coupe had to go when Baby #1 came along and we went to a MY13 S60 T5 R-Design, and now have a MY15 XC60 D5 R-Design.

      I think when we move to a 2 car family, I'm going to try to find a C30 again....

      As a Polestar S60 owner, I'm pretty excited about this.

    Alas, I doubt I will be able to afford a decent all electric until they are so ubiquitous that the Government mandates that they all be self-driving. So, maybe 20 years or so. :(

    It looks like they ripped off a ford mustang.

      Not really but I see what you mean. Have a look at the (older) S60. The Mustang looks a bit better from the rear than this.

    How did you come to the conclusion in that title? If you have to put fuel in it, you've kinda missed the whole point haven't you?

    Give me a Tesla any day of the week over this. I don’t want a hybrid, all electric for me!

    Can I have one? Pretty PLEASE.

    A hybrid? No that's not an electric Tesla killer. It isn't even direct competition.

      Why?

      They already have the technology to go full electric... but for many of us, it simply isn't practical yet (I'd argue for anyone, considering current charge times and battery tech).

      This is the sort of vehicle I see getting me through the next few years, before moving to full electric (Polestar 2) later on.

    Definitely not a Tesla killer, by any stretch of the imagination, but nevertheless a good step in the right direction.

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