Whereas the brand new firm’s first car — the $155,000 hybrid Polestar 1 — won’t look the supercar half, it is focusing on a extra refined driver that wishes to spend some huge cash and have one thing that is in restricted provide. It is also the final hybrid to be launched from the brand new automaker. Going ahead, all Polestar autos can be EVs.
However this exquisite-looking car is greater than only a fairly face. I just lately had an opportunity to drive it across the Bay Space for the day and got here away impressed, not simply by how properly it appears to be like in particular person but in addition its prowess on each winding backroads and the freeway.
On the coronary heart of the car are three energy crops. An excellent and turbo-charged 2-liter four-cylinder engine runs the entrance wheels, whereas two electrical motors management the rear. Added up, it equals a mixed energy output of 619 horsepower and a formidable 738 pound-feet of torque. When positioned in Energy mode, the Polestar 1 is fast off the road and passes slower visitors with ease. It’s going to do zero to 62 miles per hour in four.2 seconds.
However all the ability does not take away the automotive’s grand tourer talents. Whether or not I used to be carving by the mountains or on the freeway, the Öhlins suspension was tight whereas concurrently delivering a easy journey. For an additional little bit of automotive nerdery, the suspension may be manually adjusted for a stiffer or smoother journey.
Polestar initially thought of making this a characteristic that could possibly be performed electronically however determined to offer drivers the flexibility to get beneath the hood to regulate their car’s journey.
Whatever the driving setting, the Polestar 1 dealt with it aggressively and comfortably. The steering is tight with out being twitchy and the acceleration is all the time there if you want it. Usually, you get one or the opposite, however with this automotive, it does each stupendously.
However common life is not a collection of jaunts. It is loads of freeway driving, and the automotive’s drivers’ help package deal labored properly. It is really the identical system discovered on Volvos, which is an efficient factor. Adaptive cruise management had no points with cut-ins and did not overly brake or speed up as different vehicles moved out and in of its lane.
Whereas a $155,000 car that is solely one in all 1,500 ever constructed looks as if an odd commuter, it could do the job and possibly deal with most of that drive in electrical mode. The 34kWh battery pack will most likely ship about 55 miles (after EPA testing) earlier than needing to fireside up the gasoline engine.
However that brings us to the battery pack itself. Truly, the three battery packs: two within the trunk and one which runs down the middle of the passenger space. Polestar took a platform and eliminated roughly 300 millimeters of size whereas engaged on the automotive to make it look the best way it does. That signifies that the battery pack takes up about half the trunk.
On one hand, the corporate put the wiring on show behind a scratch-resistant Plexiglass. It appears to be like cool. Alternatively, you’ll be able to solely get about two curler luggage and a backpack in there. It is sufficient for 2 folks for a weekend journey. Which works out properly, as a result of the again seats aren’t actually giant sufficient for an grownup. The coupe has 4 seats, however solely two will ever actually be used except the proprietor is driving round their young children.
In different phrases, it isn’t a automotive for 4 to drive to Palm Springs. Perhaps your folks may meet you there when you tear by the desert in your Polestar 1?
On that drive, anticipate loads of consideration. Throughout my time with the automotive, I had extra folks than I anticipated taking pictures video whereas I used to be driving or simply typically gawking at it. There’s one thing to be stated a couple of great-looking automotive that each lovers and common people recognize.
However all these traces and swells within the physique disguise one thing most individuals won’t ever discover: Nearly all the exterior is made from carbon fiber. The result’s a extra inflexible car that weighs 500 kilos lower than if it had been constructed utilizing conventional supplies. Aside from the bumpers, all the exterior is carbon fiber.
Inside, you will additionally discover that most of the parts within the car are from Volvo. The steering wheel, buttons, middle console, even the Sensus infotainment system are all Volvo. They have been rebadged with the Polestar emblem, but it surely’s powerful to not assume you are simply driving a really good, very quick Volvo whereas behind the wheel of the Polestar 1.
I actually like Volvo’s interiors and infotainment system, so it isn’t that huge of a deal to me. However when you’re in search of some bespoke system within the automotive, you will be upset. That’s till you activate the car and drive it for a number of hours. Then you definately’ll neglect all about the truth that that is primarily based on a Volvo idea automotive and as an alternative simply benefit from the journey.
The Polestar 1 is pricey and can be in very restricted provide. Solely about 450 will make it to america throughout the automotive’s three-year manufacturing. It is a halo automotive meant to get folks speaking a couple of new automaker earlier than it switches solely to electrical autos. The Polestar 2, for instance, will solely set you again about $60,000, and if it drives wherever near the Polestar 1, it will be the automotive to get as soon as it hits showrooms.