► A stylish new four-door grand tourer
► First true standalone Polestar design
► Performance and sustainability are key
You’re looking at the Polestar Precept, a new concept that sets out the key values of the Volvo-offshoot – and is probably going to become the Polestar 4 one day, after the usual conceptual will-they-won't-they production viability process.
Featuring all-electric power and a sporty-looking exterior, it’s arguably the first fully on-brand Polestar car we’ve seen; It’s not an awkward left-hand-drive-only hybrid like the 1, a slightly reimagined Volvo concept like the 2, or an 'aerodymamic SUV' like the 3 – this is an all-new, all-electric performance car.
‘Precept is a declaration, a vision of what Polestar stands for and what makes the brand relevant,’ said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. ‘The car is a response to the clear challenges our society and industry face.’
Fresh pictures of the Precept have emerged, after the initial batch of photos was released in February and the car's planned world debut at the Geneva motor show was canned because of the spread of coronavirus.
Polestar Precept: a statement of intent
With a 3100mm wheelbase, this a four-door grand tourer-shaped mission statement – and a proper look at Polestar’s eco-friendly and performance-orientated future.
The styling is like Volvo on a coke binge: Gothenburg’s Thor’s hammer lights have been sharpened, chiselled and separated, while at the rear, a full-width whisker-thin light bar makes the Precept look sci-fi – but also like a distant cousin of Volvo’s more mature S90.
Like most electric cars, the Polestar Precept doesn’t have a grille, but unlike most EVs Polestar has decided to call this area the SmartZone. Simply put, it’s just where the Precept houses its myriad of safety sensors, including two radar sensors and an HD camera. And because this is a Polestar, all the tech is covered by laboratory-like white glass and text.
Revealed: a guide to new and future electric cars
A focus on efficiency and performance mean the Precept also has lots of aerodynamic-led features, too. Wing-mounted cameras replace mirrors for drag, range and safety reasons, while a ‘front-wing’ on the bonnet is also designed to improve the car’s progress through the air.
This car marks the brand's first attempt at standalone design and reflects Volvo's growing ambition for Polestar, conceived as a more progressive, performance-oriented rival to Tesla.
It doesn't mean that Volvo won't do electric cars as well - it will - but the Swedes think there's enough white space in the fast-growing EV market for a new brand with complementary values to warrant Polestar as a separate entity.
What’s that at the top?
No, Polestar hasn’t revealed its first taxi cab – though sharing is one of the key pillars of the new brand. That pod on the roof is actually a Lidar module that peers down at the road for when autonomous driving is activity. Of course, the Precept has autonomous tech.
Polestar was one of the first car brands to use Google’s new HMI software (Human Machine Interface) and this Precept doubles down on it.
Essentially Android Auto allowed to take over the entire car, and quite close to self-awareness, Google HMI lives on a 15-inch screen and 12.5-inch driver display. Eye tracking and proximity sensors should mean the panels react intelligently depending on what you’re doing.
There’s a blade between both screens for styling reasons, and Polestar seems to have inherited the Volvo family crystal, too: a Polestar emblem is holographically displayed in the stuff between the rear seat headrests.
Of course, the other part of the Polestar mission is a focus on sustainability. With that in mind, seat surfaces are made from PET recycled bottles, headrests and other bits are made from recycled cork and the carpets are made from reclaimed fishing nets. Some of the recycling has actually helped the performance of the car: the flax-based composites around the car have resulted in 50% less weight than conventional materials, and an 80% reduction in plastic waste.
The Polestar Precept was due to be shown at the 2020 Geneva motor show, but that debut was unceremoniously canned when the Swiss car show was cancelled for the first time in its history.
We’ll update this article when we get a better, closer look at the Precept in the coming weeks.
All our Polestar reviews