Volvo’s Polestar unveils performance electric car, announces new ‘Tesla Model 3 competitor’

In a strange move today, Polestar, Volvo’s newly rebranded performance electric car brand, unveiled its first vehicle, a plug-in hybrid 2+2 seat Grand Tourer Coupé (PHEV), and quickly made it somehow outdated by announcing that all future Polestar cars will be all-electric (BEV).

When relaunching the brand earlier this year, Volvo made a big deal of Polestar being a “performance electric car brand”.

It looked like they were positioning Polestar to compete with Tesla in the fully-electric space and now pretty much confirmed that’s what they want to do – but not with their first car, which is a plug-in hybird.

Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar said;

“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. All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand“.

He literally makes it sound like the Polestar 1 is not the “brand vision”. It looks like they jumped the gun with the Polestar 1 by making it a plug-in hybrid as they wait for their all-electric powertrains to be ready. That’s further reinforced by the fact that they say that they only plan to produce 500 Polestar 1 vehicles per year.

Though the vehicle could prove interesting nonetheless – especially if it’s an indicator of what’s to come for the all-electric Polestar vehicles.

According to the company, Polestar 1’s plug-in hybrid powertrain enable roughly 150 km (93 miles) of range:

“The Polestar 1 will form a halo for the future Polestar brand. The Polestar 1 is a two-door, 2+2 seat Grand Tourer Coupé with an ‘Electric Performance Hybrid’ drivetrain. An electric car supported by an internal combustion engineit has a range of 150kms on pure electric power alone – the longest full electric range of any hybrid car on the market. Its output of 600hp and 1000Nm of torque places the car firmly in the performance car segment.”

It is indeed a great electric range for a PHEV.

The vehicle has a carbon fiber body and it is equipped with a double electric rear axle which enables torque vectoring.

Polestar also says that the vehicle will only be available with two or three-year subscription plans with monthly payments:”The flat rate subscription means that having a Polestar car becomes a hassle free experience for the customer. This is facilitated by Phone-As-Key technology. It allows the owner to share a virtual key with a third party, and also enables access to a host of other on-demand features. This concierge service ensures that the customer only needs to focus on the enjoyment of driving.”

They plan to open “Polestar spaces” around the world to see and test the vehicle independently of Volvo’s dealer network.

The Polestar 1 will be built in a new purpose-built Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China. The factory is expected to be completed in “mid-2018.”

Now in the same press release of their first vehicle, Polestar hypes their next upcoming vehicles, which again, will all be fully electric – starting with the Polestar 2:

“Polestar 2 will start production later in 2019 and will be the first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) from the Volvo Car Group. It will be a mid-sized BEV, joining the competition around the Tesla Model 3, and with consequently higher volumes than Polestar 1. The initial phase of the Polestar product roll out will then be completed by the subsequent arrival of a larger SUV-style BEV, the Polestar 3, which will create a modern expression of electric performance and driving dynamics.”

It’s interesting that they mention Tesla’s Model 3 by name, something rare in the industry. The automaker also confirmed that Polestar 3, an upcoming all-electric SUV, will follow Polestar 2.

We will bring you more information about the new Polestar 1, Polestar 2 and Polestar 3 as it becomes available.

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