2021 Polestar 1 thrills because the hybrid hyperlink to future electrical efficiency


At first I believed Polestar spokesperson John Paolo Canton was kidding, however he was severe. Manufacturing for the Polestar 1 ended unceremoniously in late November as a result of “we ran out of components.” Initially slated for 500 models a yr for 3 years, manufacturing ended after 1,400 automobiles and alter as a result of the corporate had run out of carbon-fiber physique panels. That makes every Polestar 1 rarer than initially thought.

Canton stated 40 Polestar 1s stay obtainable on the market, with 10 on the bottom within the U.S. and the remaining 30 slated to return to our shores. Place your $156,500 order quickly, pals.

The Polestar 1 launched the automaker, however its powertrain doesn’t mirror Polestar’s future, which is all-electric and with Porsche as its goal. The plug-in hybrid is excessive in each sense of the phrase with a carbon-fiber physique, three electrical motors, 52 miles of EPA-rated electrical vary, and an uncanny capability to carve corners.

I flew out to Santa Barbara, California, and spent a day driving on a few of the finest roads I’ve ever skilled within the Polestar 1. Right here’s what I discovered.

2020 Polestar 1 first drive

2020 Polestar 1 first drive

Hit: Hustles because it carves

As I flung the 5,180 lb Polestar 1 by twisty roads outdoors Santa Barbara, I saved pondering no automotive this heavy ought to have the ability to carry out like this. However the Polestar 1 attacked corners like a sports activities automotive. It makes 619 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque because of a mixture of a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter inline-4 hooked to a motor generator, an 8-speed automated transmission, and two rear-mounted electrical motors. The latter draw their energy from a 34-kwh lithium-ion battery pack. The rear motors offset the load of the twincharged-4 up entrance for a close to excellent 48/52 entrance to rear weight stability. The entrance finish turns in sharply, however the rear is the place the true magic occurs. The electrical motors vector torque shortly. The more durable I pushed Polestar 1, the extra the rear dug in and shifted the facility back and forth to tighten the road by corners.

2020 Polestar 1 first drive

2020 Polestar 1 first drive

Miss: Till issues get cooked

After about 45 minutes of driving at a brisk tempo, the automotive began to lose energy. I added extra throttle and shifted down to 3rd gear by way of the steering wheel paddles. Extra noise got here from beneath the hood, however the velocity didn’t enhance to match it. The 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster confirmed no warnings or errors, however one thing was clearly unsuitable. I pulled over at an overlook and left the automotive working in hopes the followers would cool no matter this mysterious subject was. I used the chance to take photographs, and I hopped again in after quarter-hour hoping to have full energy once more. My prayers have been answered.

I informed this story to a Polestar engineer, who hooked a pc to the automotive by way of an Ethernet twine and decided I had overheated the rear motors. They shut down till they reached regular temperatures. It’s all enjoyable and video games till you lose about half of your energy.

2021 Polestar 1

2021 Polestar 1

Hit: Usable electrical vary

The Polestar 1 entered manufacturing, and left manufacturing, holding the title of the plug-in hybrid with probably the most electrical vary. With an EPA-rated all-electric vary of 52 miles, the Polestar 1 can run silently for many commutes. The 34-kwh battery pack is thrice bigger than another automobile constructed on Volvo’s SPA platform (together with the XC60 and XC90) and about twice as massive because the batteries in most plug-in hybrids. In Hybrid or Energy modes, the Polestar 1 carries a good 58 MPGe score, however when the pack’s tapped the EPA says the Polestar 1 is able to 26 mpg mixed.

2021 Polestar 1

2021 Polestar 1

2021 Polestar 1

2021 Polestar 1

2021 Polestar 1

2021 Polestar 1

Miss: The $50,000 inside

The Polestar 1’s carbon-fiber physique and dual-motor rear finish are borderline unique, however the inside doesn’t stay as much as that billing. It’s straight out of the Volvo components bin apart from some carbon-fiber trim. Volvo interiors are merely laid out, easy-to-use, properly screwed collectively, and fairly to have a look at, however they don’t really feel like what you’d count on for six figures. Notably, the Polestar 1 runs Volvo’s infotainment working system on a 9.0-inch touchscreen, which I choose to the Google Android-base system within the Polestar 2.

2021 Polestar 1

2021 Polestar 1

2021 Polestar 1

2021 Polestar 1

2021 Polestar 1

2021 Polestar 1

Hit: Manufacturing idea automotive

For all intents and functions, the Polestar 1 is the manufacturing model of the Volvo Idea Coupe proven on the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Present. Almost the whole idea was put into manufacturing from the flush-mounted door handles to the BMW-inspired Hoffmeister kink on the rear window line to the inside design, it’s all right here. Attractive and timeless, it’s one of many prettiest coupes on the highway. The cake topper? Open the trunk and a transparent scratch-resistant plastic cowl places the orange high-voltage cables plugged into the second battery pack on show. This was initially meant for the present automotive, however individuals preferred it a lot Canton stated Polestar determined to place it into manufacturing. Neat.

2021 Polestar 1

2021 Polestar 1

Miss: Akebono brakes

An Akebono brake system that includes mounted 6-piston calipers and 15.7-inch rotors up entrance and glued single-piston calipers paired with 15.4-inch rotors within the rear comes normal. The robust brakes present greater than sufficient stopping energy to haul the 5,180-lb coupe again to actuality, however they aren’t progressive in the best way they work. Once I hit the pedal, it felt just like the brakes have been both on or off with little center floor. Fortunately, it has extra chew than comparable methods from Akebono, such because the one used within the XC60 Polestar Engineered. However the Brembo system discovered within the Polestar 2 dual-motor with the Efficiency bundle is extra progressive and simpler to modulate whereas nonetheless biting down onerous. A Polestar spokesperson confirmed the corporate switched to a Brembo system for the Polestar 2 dual-motor with the Efficiency Package deal as a result of it blends and tunes the friction and regenerative methods higher for a extra pure feeling.

With only a few automobiles left to promote, the Polestar 1 will quickly be historical past, however do you have to be fortunate sufficient to search out your self behind the wheel of 1 sometime, put together to be shocked by its capability to carve corners. However you’ll want to get an excellent really feel for the brakes earlier than seeking to push the bounds.

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2021 Polestar 1

Base value: $156,500, together with vacation spot
Value as examined: $161,500
Powertrain: 619-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged inline-4, three electrical motors, 8-speed automated transmission, all-wheel drive
EPA gas economic system: 52 miles electrical vary, 58 MPGe, 26 mpg mixed
The hits: Beautiful design, physics defying dynamics
The misses: Rear motors can overheat, lacks six-figure inside, brakes aren’t progressive

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