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This is the Polestar 1

Geely's all-electric spinoff
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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Front view
Front view
Volvo's all-electric spinoff, Polestar, is making it a point to be the Swede's first entry into the electric future where batteries are king. The brand's first model as an independent entity, the Polestar 1, is being called a "Grand Tourer Coupe."

Volvo parent Geely is throwing the word "performance" into the mix with this car for a very good reason: The Polestar 1's hybrid powertrain pumps out 600 horsepower and 737 ft-lb of torque, thanks to dual electric motors positioned at the rear of the car and a twincharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder driving the front wheels.

Polestar 1 is capable of traveling 93 miles on batteries only.

Much of that power would be wasted if the car weighs an exuberant amount. That's why Polestar has decided to use carbon fiber to build the majority of the vehicle's body. Not only has this reduced weight considerably, but it has also improved torsional stiffness by 45 percent.

To help counteract all of that weight when the car is in motion, the coupe is also the first car to be fitted with the Ohlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi). Using this technology, the vehicle will be able to actively react to road conditions and driver inputs within two milliseconds of a change, changing the way the car handles by dynamically adjusting the dampening.

In order to keep things fresh but still build it off reliable, well-vetted technology, Polestar borrowed parent company Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA). This will permit the Polestar 1--and other models that use SPA--to be fast-tracked into production.

Though the Polestar 1 might be the first hybrid on the SPA platform for the brand, it will also be the last. All future Polestar cars will be exclusively battery-powered, making them fully electric--and fulfilling the "vision" of the company.

Side View
Side View
"Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet," said Polestar's CEO, Thomas Ingenlath. "A beautiful GT with amazing technology packed into it--a great start for our new Polestar brand. All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand."

Given that Polestar considers its vision to be battery-only cars--and it's a bold vision, part of Geely's $760 million dollar plan to launch the brand as an EV manufacturer--one might call into question if the Polestar 1 feels rushed. Even if the technology isn't ready for Polestar to mass-produce a BEV, we can consider it one last hurrah from Volvo's prestigious petrol-powered history.

Best of all, Polestar will be selling vehicles direct to consumer--something which the public seems to love, but automakers and local state governments tend to not. Polestar has mentioned it will offer a sort of subscription service like Volvo is doing--no surprise, given the impact that automakers foresee this having on car ownership.

The vehicle will be manufactured alongside other Geely-owned brands in the Polestar Production Center, located in Chengdu, China, and is slated to begin production in mid-2019.

600 hp 1000 Nm
Polestar 1 has a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a petrol engine driving the front wheels and two electric motors driving the rear wheels. The combined maximum power from the petrol engine, the electric motors and the Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) is 600 hp and a torque of 1000 Nm.

The combustion engine in the Polestar 1 is a high-performance petrol in-line four-cylinder engine supercharged and turbocharged. The mechanically driven supercharger adds torque from low-to-medium engine speeds together with the turbocharger up to 3500 rpm. The turbocharger then takes over and adds power and torque up to maximum rpm.

Two electric motors drive the rear wheels. Each electric motor delivers a maximum power of 80 kW (109 hp) which is a combined power of 160 kW (218 hp) and torque of 480 Nm on the rear wheels. In addition to these electric motors the Polestar 1 is equipped with an Integrated Starter Generator (ISG), this adds 34 kW (46 hp) and 150 Nm of torque.

Combined with the electric motors are planetary gear sets. These planetary gear sets enable torque vectoring – a technology used in racing to bring both acceleration and stability through curves. Torque vectoring supports the driver with precise acceleration on each wheel to keep the maximum road grip and maintain speed whilst cornering.

Polestar 1 has three battery stacks with the latest chemistry, one in the tunnel and two at the rear – providing 34 kWh. This unique positioning of the battery stacks enables an ideal weight distribution of 48% on the front wheels and 52% on the rear wheels.

The Dragonfly

Rear View
Rear View
The use of carbon fiber has dramatically influenced the design of the Polestar 1. The roof cross sections are slim, light and stiff carbon fiber profiles enabling a low, elegant roof line and a beautiful design. Furthermore, a cleverly shaped patch of CFRP bonded to the steel underbody, stiffens the traditionally weak interface between the middle floor and the rear structure. At Polestar, this component is known as the Dragonfly.

Carbon fiber reinforced polymer
Practically all parts of the Polestar 1 upper body, including doors, bonnet and boot-lid, are made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) for maximum stiffness, torsional rigidity and lightness. This stiff and rigid body contributes to great handling with consistently precise characteristics.

Active rear spoiler
The Polestar 1 has a standard-fitted active rear spoiler delivering high-speed downforce on the rear axle. It automatically raises from its integrated flush position when the speed exceeds 100 km/h and is retracted when the speed is reduced below 70 km/h.

Panoramic glass roof
Polestar 1 comes with a fixed panoramic glass roof, stretching all the way from the top of the windscreen to the upper edge of the rear window. A small delightful detail is projected onto the glass roof: The Polestar. Always guiding you, shining in the sky – day and night.

Interior design
The interior features handcrafted leather detailing and a carbon fiber wing that stretches to the full height of the instrument panel. State-of-the-art tooling precision enables a high-class fit and finish. In the back the 2+2 seater provides an exquisite compartment with handcrafted leather detailing and tasteful integration of the Bower & Wilkins high-end sound system. The rear can be folded, providing a flat surface with strap fasteners for hand-luggage.

Double wishbone front
The Polestar 1 has double wishbone front suspension, connecting each wheel with two transverse links. This design enables the front suspension to counteract torque steer, delivering a neutral balance with a minimum of unwanted understeer. In addition to these benefits, most suspension parts are made of aluminum, to reduce unsprung weight.

The rear suspension is an integral link design, a unique solution to the Polestar 1 – with a transverse composite leaf spring, replacing traditional coil springs. This design delivers neutrally balanced cornering characteristics, minimum roll and low levels of noise, vibration and harshness.

Ohlins CESi
Polestar 1 is the first car with Ohlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) – a highly advanced damping system. The CESi can be set to adapt instantly to road conditions and in accordance with the driver’s chosen setting. Ohlins is a world-renowned manufacturer of state-of-the-art damper technology and have cooperated with Polestar since 1996.

400x38 six piston Mono block fixed calipers
The Polestar 1 has exceptionally powerful brakes. The front brakes, are specified by Polestar and manufactured by Akebono – six piston aluminum Mono block calipers on each front wheel are milled from one-piece. The calipers are coupled with 400x38mm ventilated and drilled discs for efficient cooling.

Specifications

Engine Type

2 liter In-line 4-cyl. supercharged and turbocharged

Electric Motors

2 rear axle electric machines + Crank ISG

Power

600 hp

Torque

1000 Nm

Electric Range

150 km (NEDC)

Batteries

34kWh arranged in 3 Battery stacks (2 packs)

Suspension

Ohlins CESi + Double Wishbone (Front) / Integral Link (Rear)

Brakes

Akebono 6-Piston Calipers (Front) / Conti EPB (Rear)

Body type

CFRP + Steel Compound Body

Tyre size

275/30 R21 (Front) / 295/30 R21 (Rear)

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