Some of my favorite car stories from the last 10-11 years involve Volvo wagons and Polestar. One such adventure had me drive to the New York Auto Show by my lonesome in a brown XC70 T6 that was Polestar optimized. Onlookers on the I87 South were very much surprised to see said brown wagon fly by them thanks to its 325-horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque.
Polestar’s always been about performance but since June of 2017, the company and brand has evolved into something different. Polestar now stands for electrified high-performance vehicles.
The Polestar 1, or P1, was first revealed in Shanghai in October of 2017 and it did not take long for deep-pocketed buyers to jump on the opportunity. The P1 starts at around $155,000 USD and even though production begins in mid-2019, all 200 cars destined for North American customers are sold out.
Why the fanfare? A few reasons. The first is the car’s powertrain. The P1 features a turbo- and supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid setup driving the front wheels and two more electric motors, one per wheel, in the rear. The 600-horsepower/738 lb.-ft. of torque performance plug-in hybrid will provide the longest pure electric range of any hybrid or plug-in hybrid in the world thanks to its 150 kilometers of range. Believe me-you, it’ll be fast too.
Second, the Polestar 2, or P2, will appear in 2019 and production will begin about a year after the P1. According to Polestar, the all-electric P2 will compete directly with the Tesla Model 3 so that means it’ll be a 4-door sedan, be affordable at just shy of $50k USD (we’ll see) and also quick. Polestar plans to build roughly 50,000 units annually once production begins.
And thirdly, the ownership and purchasing experiences. Polestars will be retailed through Polestar Spaces (Apple Stores, Porsche Centres) where consumers can hang with the cars, pressure-free and chill. They can ask questions too if they’re so inclined. You will be able to buy a car in numerous ways including through an app on you mobile phone or desktop.
There will be an alternative to getting your hands on a Polestar and that’ll be through Volvo’s monthly subscription plan. Other carmakers offer such a program, including Volvo and their Care by Volvo, where all buyers will have to do is pay a monthly payment with no other related costs. Not only will the car be picked up and delivered by Polestar technicians for service but the monthly instalment will include insurance, service, and even wear and tear parts like wiper blades.
We believe that programs like Care by Volvo will take on a life of their own and become popular ways for non-traditional consumers to procure cars. The first Polestar Space is expected to open in New York in late 2019 or early 2020, followed by Spaces in other cities throughout the US and Canada.
And Polestar’s nowhere near done as they have already announced the coming of the Polestar 3, or P3, which will be a sporty SUV or crossover vehicle.
It is clear based on all this that Polestar is aiming straight for Tesla. Owned and backed by Geely Automobile Holdings, they certainly have the means to take the Polestar name and brand to the next level.