► Volvo’s electrified offshoot
► Two models already on sale…
► And many more to come
Polestars will not simply be ‘electrified Volvos,’ Ingenlath told CAR a few years ago. ‘Volvo is clearly defined by its comfort, safety and practicality’.
‘Polestar is not bound by [this]. Polestars will be designed more around the individual, and be more progressive and performance-oriented.
Ingenlath wants to offer more ‘complete performance electric cars’ than any current offering. ‘Electric cars now are defined by their acceleration. That’s useless in day-to-day driving, and sometimes they’re so fast they can be frightening. We will make cars that are really enjoyable to drive in handling, steering and in overall everyday performance.’
Here’s what’s currently on sale.
What Polestar cars can you buy?
The Polestar 1 was the very first car launched by Polestar, and a state of intent for Geely’s premium electrified brand. A hybrid two-door coupe, the Polestar 1 bares the most resemblance to a Volvo of the models released so far; aside from the grille, the 1 looks a lot like a slightly shortened S90 saloon. That’s because it’s based on the Volvo Concept Coupe of 2013.
It uses a version of the SPA platform and a modified 592bhp, Volvo T8 plug-in hybrid powertrain to boost performance and electric-only range. 62mph arrives from a standstill in just 4.2 seconds, and there’s an all-electric range of 93 miles. In addition, features such as adjustable Öhlins shocks hint at Polestar’s tuning-firm beginnings.
Inside, the Polestar borrows heavily from the Volvo, range too – so it uses a variant of the brand’s Sensus touchscreen software.
While it is available to buy in the UK for £139,000, the Polestar 1 is also available via a monthly subscription model, though currently only available in LHD form.
Read our review of the Polestar 1 here
The Polestar 2 is the first bespoke EV from the brand, and therefore the most true to the brand’s mission for electrification. The Tesla Model 3 wears a tweaked version of Volvo’s Concept 40.2 design, but stuffs a four-wheel-drive, 402bhp EV powertrain capable of 0-62mph in 2.7 and a range of 311 miles. It’s priced at £49,900.
Inside, the Polestar 2 surrenders its infotainment system to Google; the 2 uses the search giant’s new HMI software, essentially a more powerful, baked-in version of Android Auto.
Like all Polestars, it’s Swedish engineered and Chinese manufactured, on a dedicated site next to Volvo’s existing factory in Chengdu.
Read our review of the Polestar 2 here
What’s next for Polestar? EVs coming soon
An all-electric ‘aerodynamic’ SUV is the next car on the Polestar roadmap, though there’s very little we actually know about it. It’s being gradually revealed and should be more in keeping with the first EV efforts from Audi and Jaguar; making it an e-Tron and I-Pace rival.
The 3 is likely to be the most popular EV out of the lot, with increased practicality over the 2 and especially 1. So why wait? Judging by the brand’s strong sense of identity and considered marketing approach, it’s possible Ingenlath and Co wanted to first present Polestar DNA on the more engaging canvases of a performance hybrid and squat crossover EV.
Read more about the Polestar 3 here
With Polestar’s now award-winning design language in place, the Polestar 3 is ready for deployment.
Polestar CEO Ingenlath has indicated the Polestar 3 will be priced somewhere between the 1 and the 2.
Polestar has quietly announced some new details of its new 4. The new Polestar 4 will be a coupe SUV and will join the range ranks in 2023.
‘We have a second SUV in our pipeline,’ Ingenlath revealed. ‘It will compete below the Polestar 3’s €75,000 [£65k] sector, it is slightly smaller. It will not compromise on the interior length, but this car is slightly more ground-hugging, a bit more of the coupe-type roofline.
Read more about the Polestar 4 here
Polestar 5: Precept
The Polestar 5 hasn’t been officially revealed yet, but the recent Precept concept is our first look at the Polestar 5. The largest departure from Volvo’s styling yet, the 5 will build on the themes of the first two cars but go bigger and bolder.
The Polestar 5 takes the shape of a four-door GT, which places the Porsche Taycan and forthcoming e-Tron GT firmly in its crosshairs.
‘Precept is a declaration, a vision of what Polestar stands for and what makes the brand relevant,’ said Ingenlath of the concept which inspires the 5. ‘The car is a response to the clear challenges our society and industry face.’
Read more about the Polestar 5 here
Polestar has teamed up with tech pioneer StoreDot, as it looks to increase its electric battery know-how. StoreDot is currently a class-leader in fast-charging technology, and the new partnership will see Polestar investigate the use of its silicon dominant, lithium-ion cells.
The Geely off-shoot isn’t the first to the party though; it joins a client list including Daimler, BP and Samsung, as brands look to improve charging time as well as range.
And it’s fast, very fast. StoreDot’s ‘100in5’ technology is already on track for providing 100 miles of range with 5 minutes charging by 2024 – and is currently being tested by leading OEMs.
‘Charging and range anxiety are common concerns holding owners of combustion engine cars back from making the switch to EVs,’ said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. ‘StoreDot’s advanced battery technology potentially provides real solutions to these obstacles. If our current pilot projects with StoreDot are successful, we could see these solutions being implemented in Polestar cars by 2026.’
Key to the Polestar mission is a new plan to create a climate neutral car by 2030. Called Polestar 0, the goal was announced at the company’s first annual review in 2021, and aims to put some world-saving figures behind the brand’s already green marketing and production practices.
In February 2022, Polestar named its industry partners and suppliers which will help decarbonise the end-to-end production process. It will work with the likes of SSAB, Hydro, ZF, ZKW and Autoliv to develop fossil-free steel, for example, and reduce the carbon in aluminium manufacturing.
Interestingly, Polestar isn’t be pursuing a policy of offsetting (planting trees to replace CO2 produced during manufacturing cars) as the Swedish car brand questions the practice’s long-term viability. A statement released by Polestar suggests ‘a forest might be logged, devastated by fire or altered by climate change,’ therefore ending any benefits.
‘Offsetting is a cop-out,’ says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. ‘By pushing ourselves to create a completely climate-neutral car, we are forced to reach beyond what is possible today.’
‘We’re electric, so we don’t have to worry about combustion engines producing toxic emissions – but that doesn’t mean our job is done. We will now work to eradicate all emissions stemming from production,’ added Polestar’s head of sustainability, Fredrika Klarén.
What’s the plan?
Polestar already integrates climate targets into its employee bonus scheme, but now it’s taking a more visible approach: carbon footprint credentials are published in Polestar Spaces and online for all future models – starting with the 2 – in the same way you can find out how many calories are contained in a Big Mac.
Whether people will take a similar approach to Polestar’s transparency, as they do to McDonalds’, remains to be seen. And to save you a Google search, it’s 508 calories, consisting of 25g of fat, 43g of carbohydrates and 26g of protein.