Polestar Takes a Page From Tesla's Book to Fund an Affordable Car
The sporty Polestar 1 should help the company to fund a more affordable sedan.
Being the spin-off of an already hugely successful Swedish automotive giant certainly helps a startup hit the ground running. Nevertheless, Volvo's ex-performance division turned electric car manufacturer, Polestar, has taken a page from Tesla CEO Elon Musk and has decided to build a car from a "top-down" approach, scaling from a high-end 2+2 configuration sports car down to an affordable Model 3 competitor.
In 2015, Volvo decided to buy Polestar's sub-division, Polestar Performance, which operated independently since it was first founded in the late '90s. Up until the final goodbye, Volvo continued to crank out swanky saloons under the Polestar badge, finally leaving with the announcement that Polestar would be split off into its own electric car brand.
Not long after the breakup came the first public visual of Polestar's Grand Tourer Coupé, the Polestar 1. The public loved the very estate-like look of the Polestar 1, and die-hard Volvo fanatics still clung on to the engineering and design shreds that make the coupe feel like the quirky old Volvo it really tried to be. I mean, with 600-horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque, who wouldn't be intrigued?
And this is where we start to feel a bit like another electric car company that we know. Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned his "master plan" several times throughout the years. The basic goal was to first build a boutique-volume sports car, cue the Tesla Roadster, and use that to fund a less limited run of a more luxurious sedan (hello Model S). Next, take the money from the luxury car, and use it to build a high-volume, affordable sedan; something we now know as the Model 3.
“Polestar 1 is very much a halo product,” Thomas Ingenlath, ex-Volvo chief of design turned Polestar CEO, told AutoCar in an interview, “We’re going to need those for the future, just as we’ll need lower-priced models to bring flair and feeling to a much broader audience.”
Though the Polestar 1 is already being slated for launch in several countries considered to be "leading the way" in electrification, 2019 can't come soon enough. For those scared to commit to buying an electric car, but still want to feel what the Swedes have been working up, it's been noted that the car will be the first to utilize Volvo's new subscription service.
Volvo's parent company Geely has worked with the manufacturer to build the Polestar 1 at the "Polestar Production Centre" in Chengdu, China which broke ground in late 2017. Should all go well with the release, funds will trickle down to the Polestar 2, which is said to be an EV hatchback that will rival the Tesla Model 3.