Polestar 1Enlarge Photo
Former Volvo tuner Polestar on Tuesday unveiled its first car, the aptly named Polestar 1, but if you’re thinking you've seen the design before, it’s because you have.
Yes, the Polestar 1 is just a slightly massaged version of Volvo’s Concept Coupe which was presented at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show to introduce Volvo's current design language.
Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s former design chief who is now in charge of Polestar, explained that following the positive response to the concept Volvo decided to put it into production. Ingenlath couldn’t be happier as he was the person who designed it.
The Volvo coupe was essentially going to be an S90 with the rear doors removed. It might have even been called a C90.
Volvo Concept Coupe, 2013 Frankfurt Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
However, two years ago, Ingenlath explained, Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson approached him and asked whether the car could ditch its Volvo logo and be sold as a standalone Polestar model. He was reluctant at first. After all, the car’s lines took inspiration from a legendary Volvo, the P1800 of the 1960s.
But then Polestar got to work, stiffening the body with carbon fiber and augmenting Volvo's T8 Twin Engine powertrain with an additional electric motor.
After Ingenlath drove a prototype and experienced the performance that was on offer from its 600-horsepower plug-in hybrid powertrain, he was convinced the car was much more than just a 2-door S90 (the two still share around 50 percent of their parts). It was a proper Polestar.
Production of the Polestar 1 will commence at a new plant in China in 2019. You won’t be able to buy one, though. Instead, the car will be offered exclusively through a subscription service similar to the recently announced Care by Volvo program. There will be the choice of 2- or 3-year plans, after which the car is returned to Polestar, refurbished and then offered via a secondary subscription.