Volvo’s Performance Brand, Polestar, Debuts First Standalone Model

The beginning of the next chapter in Volvo’s history is just around the corner.

Polestar, Volvo’s performance brand, on Tuesday announced its first standalone model, Polestar 1. The hybrid coupe is rear-wheel-drive, seats four and is slated to go into production in mid-2019.

The Polestar 1 will be built on Volvo’s scalable platform architecture and represent the Swedish automaker’s first step in emulating Mercedes-Benz, which has fully integrated Mercedes-AMG into its portfolio as a performance brand. Polestar currently produces tuned versions of standard Volvo models, such as the S60 and V60, as was the case for AMG before it launched the SLS.

Although Volvo aims to establish Polestar as an electric sports car maker, the Polestar 1 serves as a bridge to that end point, so its two electric motors are mated to a four-cylinder engine. Polestar, however, still refers to its first model as an “Electric Performance Hybrid,” largely because its its 150-kilometer (93-mile) all-electric range is better than that of any other hybrid on the market.

Polestar 1

As a result, Polestar anticipates that many customers only will drive their vehicle in “Pure” mode, in which the it produces 218 horsepower. In “Power” mode, the four-cylinder Drive-E engine boosts the total power output to 600 horsepower and 738 foot-pounds of torque.

In addition to the Polestar 1, which will have a production cap of 500 units per year, Polestar’s announcement outlined the rollout plan for its next two models.

Polestar 2 already is in development and is expected to go into production in late 2019. The mid-size EV will rival the Tesla Model 3 and it won’t be produced in as limited quantity as the Polestar 1.

Polestar 3 will be an all-electric SUV, which reportedly will bridge the gap between the 1 and 2 in terms of size and price, implying that it will be a compact crossover. It’s not clear when Polestar plans to put the SUV into production, however.

All photos via Polestar

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