POLESTAR

POLESTAR POLESTAR 1 COUPE 2.0 PHEV 2dr 4WD Geartronic

Fuel

FuelPetrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph4.2s

EC Combined (mpg)

EC Combined-

The Polestar 1 is a premium GT coupe for the Bentley Continental GT and Aston DB set that instead of throaty V8 or V12 power delivers the ultimate in plug-in hybrid technology. It can go further and faster than any plug-in hybrid has gone before, plus it's astonishingly fast, very exclusive, exquisitely finished and extremely rare. Did you ever think a Volvo-derived design could be this exotic?

POLE CHANCER

Can any Volvo-engineered product ever really be worth Aston Martin money? The Polestar 1 sets out to be. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

The Polestar 1 is a premium GT coupe for the Bentley Continental GT and Aston DB set that instead of throaty V8 or V12 power delivers the ultimate in plug-in hybrid technology. It can go further and faster than any plug-in hybrid has gone before, plus it's astonishingly fast, very exclusive, exquisitely finished and extremely rare. Did you ever think a Volvo-derived design could be this exotic?

Background

There'll never be another car quite like the Polestar 1. There'll never be another Polestar model like it either because all future models from the brand will be fully electric and this is a plug-in hybrid. The world's most sophisticated plug-in hybrid as it happens. Only 1,500 Polestar 1 models will ever be built at Polestar's plant in Chengdu, China, all of them in left hand drive form. They'll be sold in only nine countries across the globe, including the UK where this car will be rarer than hen's teeth. There's hand-crafted carbonfibre bodywork and the 600bhp 4x4 drivetrain has two power sources and three electric motors. It'll be something of a collectors' item.

Driving Experience

Talk about drivetrain complexity. There's an awful lot going on here. You might be disappointed to pay Aston Martin money and get a four cylinder 2.0-litre engine, but this one is both turbocharged and supercharged and is aided by a pair of active torque vectoring 85kW electric motors fitted to the rear axle, one for each wheel (hence the provision of AWD traction).Plus yet another motor sits between the engine and the 8-speed auto gearbox, acting as a starter/generator. Powering these three motors are two large batteries, one over the rear axle and the other in the transmission tunnel, all of which helps to explain this car's substantial 2,350kg kerb weight. You'd want plenty of power to haul all that bulk about: how does 600bhp and 1,000Nm of torque sound? That's good enough to get you to 62mph in around 4.2s en route to 155mph. So you'll need the huge steel Akebono brakes (as used on the McLaren P1). There's a choice of five powertrain settings, the default one being 'Hybrid', which prioritises electric propulsion unless you really do need all-out acceleration (in which case the car switches into the alternative 'Power' mode). The other options are 'Pure' (full-electric) and 'All Wheel Drive', plus there's an 'Individual' screen to allow you to set your preferred drive set-up - to an extent. There's only one steering setting. And you can't adjust damping either - not from inside the cabin anyway. This car has race-style manually-adjustable Ohlins dampers that can be formatted with a choice of 22 options to deliver suspension feel to suit your exact preference. You lift the bonnet to tweak them at the front (via dials on the shock absorber turrets) but you'll need to slide under your Polestar on a trolley jack to tweak the rears. Which is why most owners will stick with the factory settings - position 9 at the front and 10 at the rear.

Design and Build

The Volvo Concept Coupe, a design study from the Swedish manufacturer that did the motorshow rounds back in 2013, was the starting point for a style of design language that today's characterises all of the Gothenburg maker's models. But that prototype's stylist, Thomas Ingenlath, always dreamed of it becoming a production reality and got his chance to facilitate that when he was appointed the new Polestar brand's CEO. The Polestar 1 sits on the same 'Scalable Product Architecture' platform used for all of Volvo's larger models, but at just 4.5-metres in length, it's quite a lot shorter than any of those. Plus it's made of far more sophisticated materials, mostly carbonfibre, which is used for the roof, the pillars and all the body panels. Huge 21-inch wheels are shod with grippy 30-profile bespoke Pirelli tyres. Inside, predictably, much is borrowed from Volvo, primarily the digital instrument panel and the central portrait-format touchscreen, but special leather finishing, bespoke trimming (mostly faux-carbonfibre) and little touches like the translucent gear selector help to create the required six-figure ambiance. You also get gold seat belts, colour co-ordinated with the brake calipers and the tyre valve caps. The front seats are big and spacious: the rear chairs aren't: even kids might complain. And there's a small 143-litre boot too, for what is supposed to be a Grand Touring coupe, mainly because it's full of battery. It's only 126-litres in size if you add in the charging cable bag - and can't be extended with a folding rear bench. Still, a gorgeous trunk detail is a glass partition at the back of the load space which reveals a bank of orange electric plugs and sockets.

Market and Model

Polestar hasn't been shy in its pricing here. £139,000 is a sum of money that would get you some intensely desirable Grand Touring super-luxury performance coupes from premium brands, among them contenders of the calibre of Bentley's Continental GT, a top AMG-engineered Mercedes SL or a Porsche 911 Turbo. But then this is nothing like any of those cars. It's the world's most advanced and fastest plug-in hybrid, only 1,500 will ever be built (all in left hand drive) and there'll never ever be anything else quite like it. There won't be any Polestar dealerships, nor will you be able to buy the marque's products from a Volvo franchise, though a couple of retail spaces (in Manchester and London) are planned to introduce customers to Polestar and advise on configuration. But the actual buying of a Polestar 1 will always be done online via an app (which will also be used to arrange servicing and aftercare). And will most take place via monthly subscription payments that will include maintenance and insurance. There are five exterior colours (with gloss and matte options), three wheel designs, two shades of Napper leather upholstery finishing and exterior brightwork in either gloss black or chrome. Otherwise, there are no other options. Everything comes as standard.

Cost of Ownership

Thanks to the largest lithium-ion battery we've ever come across fitted to a plug-in hybrid (34kWh in size), the official WLTP-rated all-electric driving range is vastly greater than any other plug-in hybrid on the market - 78 miles. That puts the Polestar 1 in Category 1 of the UK government's hybrid electric car list. The only conceivable rival you could think of, BMW's i8, gets nowhere close. You could only imagine just how far this car might be able to go on a single charge were it not for its prodigious 2.3-tonne herb weight. You'll need to stay in the 'Pure' drive setting to get anywhere near the quoted range - and not put too much performance strain on the battery (though if you do, up to 100mph is theoretically possible without the petrol engine being needed). The car defaults to electric drive from start-off and as your journey unfolds, will continue to try and use it wherever possible. The flip side of having that big battery is longer charging time than would normally be required for a plug-in hybrid, though around five hours from a typical garage wallbox should cover most of the daily battery replenishment you'd need. The quoted CO2 return is 15g/km (NEDC) and the WLTP-rated combined consumption figure is 403.6mpg. Yes, you read those figures right. You'll be able to manage maintenance via a downloadable app. And the warranty back-up is pretty much the same as you'd find with any comparable Volvo.

Summary

This is the kind of car that would probably never have been approved by Volvo. But Polestar is, apparently, its own entity, with an R&D development budget funded directly by that Swedish brand's Chinese owner, Geely. As such, it's free to make statements of intent. And statements of technology. That deliver cars like this one. If you've been converted to the new-world electrified mind set but in another, less enviro-conscious life were charmed by big American V8 muscle cars, I could imagine that you'd be very drawn to a Polestar 1. That's because it wraps all that kind of power and bravado into a tech-laden battery-driven package with no small dose of performance charisma. Even if you're not be particularly enamoured by the end result here and don't like the borrowed Volvo bits, the tiny rear seats or the restricted boot, you can't deny that this car delivers a stinging rebuke to anyone championing the notion that electrified cars are all the same. And for that, I like it very much indeed.

  • Electric front windows
  • Windscreen wiper de-icer
  • Rain sensor windscreen wipers
  • Heated rear windscreen
  • Panoramic windscreen

  • Descent control system
  • Roll stability control
  • Multi-Collision braking
  • BAS (Brake Assist System)
  • CBC - (Cornering brake control)
  • Anti-lock Brake System and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
  • Electronic traction control
  • Ventilated front and rear disc brakes
  • Hill holder
  • Electric handbrake

  • Textile floor mats

  • Anti roll bar
  • Front and rear suspension levelling
  • Double wishbone and spring type front suspension
  • Integral link and leaf spring type rear suspension

  • Voice control system
  • Compatible mobile phone bluetooth with audio streaming

  • Pilot assist
  • Intelligent speed assist
  • 360 degree parking camera
  • Adaptive cruise control with Stop and Go
  • Drive mode selector
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Speed limiter
  • Lane departure warning system
  • Front/rear Parking distance control
  • Progressive power steering and vehicle speed proportion
  • Blind junction view
  • Side and rear blind spot information system
  • Autonomous drive activates lane control, lane change assist and traffic sign recognition

  • Remote boot door release in rear
  • Single pedal driving

  • Computer - average speed, instantaneous and average fuel consumption, fuel range
  • Wifi network and internet connection
  • Text to speech/speech to text
  • Front Cross Traffic Alert
  • 12.3" Digital instrument cluster
  • 9.6" colour touch screen navigation system with traffic information
  • Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android auto
  • Head up Display
  • External temperature gauge
  • Tachometer

  • Heated door mirrors
  • Automatic dimming door mirrors
  • Electric folding door mirrors
  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • Indicator light on door mirrors
  • Driver's door mirror memory
  • Framelss exterior door mirrors

  • Carbon fibre luxury interior trim
  • Carbon fibre dashboard

  • Active air carbon filter

  • Polestar Connect
  • USB connection front
  • Bowers and Wilkins speaker system with 16 speakers
  • DAB Digital radio
  • RDS Radio
  • Subwoofer
  • Remote audio controls on steering wheel

  • Boot spoiler
  • Pop up hood
  • Chrome/bright trim around side windows

  • Cornering lights/kerb illumination
  • Headlight control with dusk sensor, directional headlights and rear fog lights
  • LED low and high beam headlights
  • LED brake lights
  • Side LED indicators
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED rear lights
  • Headlight cleaners

  • Ventilation system
  • 2 zone climate control
  • Electric power source with heated and cooled battery

  • 12V power outlets front and rear
  • Leather centre floor console
  • Crystal gearknob
  • Carbon fibre interior door handles
  • Front cupholders
  • Leather upholstery
  • Leather roof lining
  • Front seat centre armrests
  • Manual adjust steering wheel
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 12V socket in boot
  • 3 spoke leather multifunction sports steering wheel
  • Gearshift paddles

  • Ambient lighting
  • Front reading lights
  • Load area light

  • Front and rear outer seat belt pre-tensioners
  • Driver airbag
  • Seatbelt warning
  • Pedestrian warning
  • Tyre pressure loss indicator
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation switch
  • Knee driver and passenger airbags
  • Front and rear curtain and side airbags
  • Front and rear side head protection airbags
  • Collision warning system activates seat belts, brakes at low speed, automatic braking, pedestrian avoidance and visual/acoustic warning

  • 6 way electrically adjustable passenger seat lumbar support and rear passenger control
  • Isofix points
  • Front sports seats
  • 6 way electric adjustable drivers seat + lumbar support
  • Front and rear head restraints
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Easy entry seats

  • Anti theft alarm system with interior monitoring
  • Smart card/smart key includes keyless entry and start, memory seat and programmable settings
  • Central door locking includes electric windows

  • Passenger vanity mirror

  • Tyre repair kit

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): 180
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: 11
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes): 45
  • Battery Charge Fast kW: 50
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage: 0-80
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW: N
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage: N
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 34
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - City: 133
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 124
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (kWh/100km) - Comb: 24.1
  • WLTP - EC AC Ch Dep (kWh/100km) - Comb: 27.3
  • WLTP - EC AC Ch Dep (miles/kWh) - Comb: 2.3
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (miles/kWh) - Comb: 2.6
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - City: 82.6
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 77.1

  • CO2 (g/km): 160
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Low: 253
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Medium: 171
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - High: 158
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Extra High: 188
  • WLTP - CO2 Ch Sus (g/km) - Comb: 184
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 13

  • Engine Code: B4204T22
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Compression Ratio: 10.3:1
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 82
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 93.2
  • CC: 1969

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False

  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Low: 25.2
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Medium: 37.2
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - High: 40.4
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Extra High: 34
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Comb: 34.9
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Low: 11.2
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Medium: 7.6
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - High: 7
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Extra High: 8.3
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Comb: 8.1
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb: 0.6
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb: 470.8

  • Service Interval Mileage: 15000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 609
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Coin Series: N
  • Coin Description: N
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 44.4
  • Engine Power - KW: 448
  • Engine Power - RPM: 6000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 321
  • Engine Torque - NM: 435
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2200
  • Engine Power - BHP: 609
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 4.2
  • Top Speed: 155

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Tyre Size Front: 275/30 R21
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: 4 DOUBLE SPOKE
  • Tyre Size Rear: 295/30 R21
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 21" ALLOY

  • Width (including mirrors): 2023
  • Height: 1352
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4586
  • Width: 1970
  • Wheelbase: 2742

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2350
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2670
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 60
  • No. of Seats: 4
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: N
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: N
  • Max. Loading Weight: 320
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.4

  • Matte paint finish: £4,500
  • Metallic paint: Included

  • Metallic - Midnight: £0
  • Metallic - Snow: £0
  • Metallic - Magnesium: £0
  • Metallic - Osmium: £0
  • Metallic - Space: £0

  • Matte - Magnesium: £4,500
  • Matte - Osmium: £4,500
  • Matte - Midnight: £4,500
  • Matte - Snow: £4,500
  • Matte - Space: £4,500

  • Leather - Charcoal with Zinc: £0
  • Leather - Charcoal: £0

  • 21" 4 Double spoke diamond cut alloy wheels: Included
  • 21" Glossy black diamond cut alloy wheels: £0
  • 21" Matte black diamond cut alloy wheels: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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