Volvo has long been associated with the growth of more safety, electronic and self-driving vehicles. Today they made a big announcement in terms of these three focus areas.
Volvo’s performance group, Polestar, today announced that they will move towards a new fully electronic performance car market. The brand has already made provisions for this after building a Polestar specific facility in China.
Starting with the Polestar 1 in 2019, the manufacturer will produce a car, able to travel 150km on electric power. Thanks to the 4-cylinder Volvo Drive-E system, it will also deliver 448kW and a massive 1 000 Nm.
This will be the trendsetter model of the Polestar range, featuring a two-door and 4 seat design. It will be 4.5 metres in length and will be rear-wheel drive. The car will be able to cover 150km in full-electric mode.
Those who desire an extended range, will have the option of buying the 2-litre, 4 cylinders, Volvo E-Drive petrol engine. Different to the full electric 160kw model, this Petrol will have front-wheel drive. Switch it to ‘Power’ mode and the car will produce 448kW and 1 000Nm.
The Polestar 1 will be fitted with a Öhlins suspension (Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension). The shock absorbers will be fitted with electronic valves, making it the first manufacturer in history to do so. This valve will constantly measure the road surface conditions, reacting in two milliseconds in order to address the demands.
All major body parts of the Polestar 1 will be made out of carbon fibre. This will bring the total body weight down by 230kg, increase the torsional stiffness by 45% and lower the centre of gravity. This will directly influence handling, performance and drivability.
Following later in 2019, will be the manufacturing of the Polestar 2 (the first battery electric vehicle from Volvo). This will be in direct competition with the Tesla 3.
The Polestar 3 will be an SUV-like vehicle that will also be a full battery electric vehicle. It will be priced between the Polestar 1 and 2 range.
Even more important is that the Polestar and Volvo range will start to focus on a monthly subscription model. Customers will therefore not need to worry about depreciation, insurance and maintenance.
Simply order the car online or through a mobile application and the Polestar will be delivered and picked up at your own convenience.
Another application that Volvo will manufacture is the “Phone-as-Key” app that will enable the user to open and lock the car through the mobile device. This will also enable the owner to virtually pass the “key” to a third party driver, who might like to use the car in the interim for own use, servicing, or re-charging.
Each Volvo/ Polestar subscription will be a 2 or 3-year contract. The user will then have the opportunity to take out another experience afterwards.
Volvo is redefining how we will use cars. All applications will be mobile based, with the user barely needed to go to the manufacturer themselves.
Polestar will then be the spin-out brand of Volvo, that will contribute enormously to its already established safety, electric and self-driving mobility efforts.
We are very excited about this! Orders for the Polestar 1 will open as early as 17 October 2017.
Text: Franco Theron
Pictures: Volvo Cars