Polestar 1 Hybrid GT
11:00 PM | August 23 2019

Polestar 1 hybrid GT impresses international media

The global motoring media has savoured its first drive of Polestar’s debut model, the Polestar 1 hybrid performance GT.
The international motoring media has been enthralled and captivated after their first drives of the Polestar 1, the first vehicle from Volvo’s standalone electric performance brand.
 
Automotive journalists from a handful of countries visited Sweden recently to drive validation prototypes of the 2+2 all-wheel-drive hybrid GT car ahead of full production later in 2019 – for left-hand-drive markets only.
 
The Polestar 1 features a drivetrain combining two electric motors that power the rear wheels and a petrol engine that powers the front wheels. It produces nearly 450kW and a staggering 1000Nm of torque, yet there’s the capability to travel up to 150km with zero emissions.
 
The Polestar 1 will be the brand’s only hybrid, with successive models – starting with the Polestar 2 – using purely electric power only.
 
Some of the world’s leading motoring media brands were impressed with the Polestar 1’s petrol-electric combination.
 
“Bring the turbo- and supercharged engine to life by switching to either ‘Hybrid’ or ‘Power’ via a rotary controller on the console and this is a deeply rapid car,” wrote Top Gear.
 
Renowned US outlet Motor Trend wrote: “There are five drive modes, accessed by the same roller (also knurled) and touchscreen setup used in Volvos. The default mode is Hybrid, which mixes and matches the power and torque delivery from the internal combustion engine and the motors to deliver the optimum balance between fuel efficiency and performance on demand. The transitions are virtually seamless, the motors handling most of the light throttle work, the internal combustion engine firing up promptly when you need rapid acceleration.”

Polestar interior
Overseas model shown

The UK’s Car magazine described the 1 as “kick-in-the-back fast”. “…That acceleration is just a clean surge – there’s no let-up in torque anywhere, even with an eight-speed box managing the combustion engine’s revs seamlessly.”
 
Beneath the sculpted exterior design is a lightweight body constructed from carbon fibre. This improves the Polestar 1’s structural stiffness and lowers its centre of gravity, which, respectively, aid ride quality and dynamics.
 
An advanced chassis, based on the SPA architecture used by Volvo models including the All-New S60 sports sedan and V60 luxury wagon, employs a world-first Continuously Electronic Suspension (CESi) from long-time Polestar partner Öhlins.
 
The two electric motors on the rear axle also deliver ultra-precise acceleration while enabling torque vectoring for maximum cornering traction.
 
“The torque vectoring at play here is near-wizardry,” wrote Car. “… Our experience was in the middle of heavy rain. On the handling course at Volvo's facility, there was one particular bend which was a long sweeping left-hander that continually tightened. No matter how fast we went around it, the 1 didn't understeer or oversteer. It just gripped and gripped and gripped.”
 
Auto Express in the UK also appreciated the GT’s ‘assured nature' on the road. “[The Polestar 1] disguises its bulk well as you throw it around, resisting body roll and responding neatly to steering that’s short on feel but reassuringly precise. The brake modulation – always a big challenge for a hybrid – is nicely resolved, too.”

Polestar 1
Overseas model shown

Auto Express also remarked on how successfully the Polestar 1 balances ride comfort and agility, a view shared by other media.

“It’s the comfort/control bandwidth the car has that’s downright amazing,” said Top Gear. “[The suspension] compresses progressively, rebounds equally smoothly and maintains body control so well you’d never guess the 1 weighed anything like 2.35 tonnes.”
 
Inside, there’s handcrafted upholstery and leather detailing throughout the cabin.
 
Autocar said: “It’s necessary to note that what you [we tested was] a validation prototype car, too, with unfinished tooling and fit. There’s at least one more build phase before production proper, and yet it’s already better inside than some finished cars I’ve driven.”
 
In summary, Motor Trend said of the Polestar 1: “What makes the Polestar 1 special is that, even at prototype stage, it feels like a 600-hp, 783-lb-ft car that is effortlessly fast and impressively comfortable. In other words, it feels like a proper GT.”
 
“…There’s not much currently on sale that can match its combination of fast cruising pace and emissions-free running,” wrote Auto Express.
 
And we’ll leave Autocar to have the last, but certainly not least effusive, say: “[The Polestar 1] might just be the best EV/PHEV driver’s car to date.”



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