Several months ago, Volvo Cars announced that Polestar will launch a range of electrified high-performance cars, and here is the standalone company’s first product. Meet the Polestar 1, a plug-in hybrid GT car that is set to begin its production run in mid-2019.

The halo car for the brand is equipped with an ‘Electric Performance Hybrid’ drivetrain, featuring a Drive-E 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine to drive the front wheels, a 46 hp/150 Nm integrated starter generator (ISG), and two electric motors (109 hp each). The last item draws power from three battery packs (totalling 34 kWh) to motivate the rear, as well as provide torque vectoring to ensure maximum road grip while cornering.

Volvo says the total output of the system is 600 hp and 1,000 Nm of torque, although it didn’t provide any performance figures like the well-known 0-100 km/h sprint. However, it notes the car will travel for up to 150 km on pure electric power alone, which is nice. To ensure the power is properly transmitted, 21-inch wheels with 275/30 front and 295/30 rear tyres are fitted as well.

The Polestar 1 is based on Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA), which is also employed by the Swedish carmaker’s 90 Series models (XC90, S90 and V90), albeit with substantial revisions. With tinkering from Polestar engineers, nearly 50% of the platform is new and bespoke.

Along with the chassis revision, the performance PHEV also gains several other technologies as well. This includes an Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) system, with the Polestar 1 being claimed as the world’s first car to be fitted with the advanced chassis technology. To cope with the power, there are also six piston aluminium Mono block calipers by Akebono on each front wheel, coupled with 400×38 mm ventilated and drilled discs.

With the mechanical bits out of the way, let’s talk about the way the car looks. It certainly is an attractive shape, appearing almost like carbon copy of the Volvo Concept Coupe from the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. On the mention of carbon, the Polestar 1 is fitted with carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) bodywork to keep the weight low, improve torsional stiffness by 45% and to maintain a lower centre of gravity.

Up front, the Polestar 1 showcases the well-known Thor’s Hammer daytime running lights, which are part of the LED headlights. A bold grille sits between the two lighting units, while the lower apron plays host to corner “winglets” that appear to be an evolved version of the R-Design styling package for the S90.

From the side, the coupe shape is emphasised by a rakish roofline, which ends just a little ahead of the boot section, likely a nod to the P1800. The flat rear-end is largely devoid of features, with main highlights being the C-shaped taillights, quad exhaust pipes and a Polestar badge. Look a little closer, and you’ll spot what appears to be a hidden active rear spoiler as well.

Inside, there’s a sense of déjà vu as the layout is almost identical to the S90, with a portrait-format touchscreen dominating the dashboard. Elsewhere, there’s the familiar three-spoke steering wheel (now with the Polestar badge), Orrefors crystal gear shifter and a gentle application of carbon-fibre trim.

The hybrid GT accommodates up to four passengers being a 2+2 seater, and based on the images, those in the rear will get to enjoy the craftsmanship on their seats as well as a large panoramic sunroof.

Polestar will also move away from the traditional ownership model, and will offer the coupe on a two- or three-year subscription basis akin to Care by Volvo. Customers will have to go online to apply, where they’ll need to pay a monthly fee to rent alternative vehicles within the Volvo and Polestar range.

Production of the car will take place at the purpose-built Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China, set for completion in mid-2018. The facility is part of a RMB 5 billion (about RM 3 billion) investment from Volvo Cars, and its owner Geely Holding, to support the initial phase of Polestar’s product, brand and industrial development.

Following the Polestar 1 will be the aptly-named Polestar 2, the first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) from the Volvo Car Group. Production of that model will start later in 2019 in China, where it will be exported to other markets to do battle with the Tesla Model 3. Next up, is the Polestar 3 SUV, also a BEV that will have the Model X in its sights. All in all, a total of five fully electric Polestar- or Volvo-branded vehicles will be launched between 2019 and 2021.