Nascent Swedish performance marque Polestar has begun prototype manufacturing of the Polestar 1 grand-tourer, ahead of its proper series-production commencement. While the Polestar 1 will eventually be manufactured in facilities in China, the prototypes are being built at Polestar’s headquarters in Gothenberg, Sweden.
Construction is being done largely by hand, and will act as the first testing phase for customer cars that’ll eventually be built in Chengdu. It is not only Polestar’s very first car, but it’s the first time that parent group Volvo have used quite so much carbon fibre in the construction of any one car.
“The assembly of the VP cars means that the Polestar 1 has taken its next step towards production. This first batch of 34 cars will enable our engineers to tune the finer details of the car, ensuring that the Polestar 1 is perfect when we start to produce customer cars in the middle of next year.” — Thomas Ingenlath, CEO, Polestar
The drivetrain beneath the Polestar 1 is a heavily-reworked version of the T8 TwinEngine setup currently found in the Volvo S90 and XC90, though it’s been uptuned in this application. As mentioned earlier, the petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain has been engineered further and now produces an astonishing 441kW of power and 1000Nm of twist, which Polestar promises will rocket the car from rest to 96km/h (60mph) in less than 4-seconds.
The potency of the Polestar 1 is hampered somewhat by its 2-tonne weight, a penalty of packing a 34kWh battery (split into two positions in the car for better weight distribution) and two electric motors at the rear, but is offset by the carbon-fibre construction that is a first for the Volvo Group. Amazingly, this hybrid rocket ship will also pander to the environmentally-conscious motorist too, as its relatively-lightweight construction and efficient use of power means that it can travel on battery power alone for as far as 150km on a single charge, the greatest range of any combustion-electric hybrid vehicle in the world.
Because of the extensive use of carbon-fibre, Polestar sought the expertise of fellow Swedish carmaker Koenigsegg in the early stages of the project. The composite top-half is then bound to the platform beneath both adhesively and mechanically to the steel frame of the Polestar 1, which improved structural rigidity by some 45% and reduced weight by 230kg, aided further by the shortening of the S90’s SPA wheelbase by 650mm. The strict adherence to perfect weight distribution means that the mass of the car is split 48:52 front-rear, which should make for a truly engaging drive.