Polestar 1 goes winter testing before Beijing debut

Polestar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volvo Cars, will bring the Polestar 1 to this year’s Beijing Motor Show, following its successful winter test drive in northern Sweden. The plug-in hybrid coupe was first revealed in October last year, with production set to take place in mid-2019.

As part of its testing regime, the carmaker subjected its first running prototype to temperatures as low as -28 degrees Celsius. Testing in these extreme conditions allowed engineers to scrutinise the drivetrain and batteries to ensure they performed flawlessly.

Of interest were the Polestar 1’s torque vectoring system, which is enabled by two rear electric motors with individual planetary gear sets. The car adopts a similar setup to Volvo’s Twin Engine powertrains, where a combustion engine drives the front wheels, and electric motors handle the rear. The total output of the system is claimed to be 600 hp and 1,000 Nm of torque.

It is also built on the Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA), although 50% of the components are bespoke specifically for the model. The winter test drive is also designed to examine and fine-tune traditional automotive aspects like chassis balance and driving dynamics. “Our test drivers have given us some enthusiastic feedback on the handling and dynamics especially,” said Thomas Ingenlath, CEO at Polestar.

“Besides being very happy with the balance of the chassis, they are particularly excited about the torque vectoring. We are now very confident about how this enhances the Polestar 1’s cornering responsiveness and accuracy. This is a driver’s car. We have now passed a major milestone in the development of the Polestar 1, and prototype testing continues throughout 2018,” he added.

The Polestar 1 is just the start for the company, with the Polestar 2 and 3 set to follow later on – both featuring a full electric powertrain. The Polestar 2 will be a mid-sized fully-electric car that will compete against the Tesla Model 3, and production of the mass-market model will start before the end of 2019.

Meanwhile, the Polestar 3 will take the shape of an SUV and will sit between the Polestar 1 and 2 in terms of volume and pricing. “Now we look forward to introducing the car to the Chinese public for the first time, a key market for Polestar,” ended Ingenlath.

GALLERY: Polestar 1

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Gerard Lye

Originating from the corporate world with a background in finance and economics, Gerard’s strong love for cars led him to take the plunge into the automotive media industry. It was only then did he realise that there are more things to a car than just horsepower count.




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