Factory Test Driver Promises 600-HP Polestar 1 Won’t Just Be About Paper Specs

Polestar’s first model, the $155,000 Polestar 1, won’t just have tall performance figures—it’ll have to drive nicely too.

byJames Gilboy|
Factory Test Driver Promises 600-HP Polestar 1 Won’t Just Be About Paper Specs

Volvo's premium and performance subsidiary Polestar is preparing its first standalone model, the potent Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid grand tourer for production kickoff in mid-2019. Despite the model's cutting-edge technology being one of its biggest selling points, Polestar's test driver Joakim Rydholm insists that the model should be a pleasant vehicle to drive in all conditions, regardless of what's asked of the car.

"Whenever you drive Polestar 1, you should immediately feel like you are in control and that the car is ready to respond to your input, no matter what you want to do," said Rydholm. "This is a GT that needs to be easy to drive and comfortable in everyday use with its smooth and quiet hybrid drivetrain—but also ready to deliver its thrilling 600 horsepower and 1,000 newton-meters performance whenever the driver wants it."


Polestar is putting a ponderous fleet of Swedish-built 1 prototypes through a gauntlet of trials, which vary from the performance to crash testing. Next for the Polestar 1 will be an updated series of prototypes due for construction in early 2019 at the near-completion Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China. Following another round of tests, Polestar will ready the 1 for limited production in the middle of next year.

Polestar plans to make the model available in China first, and only as part of a Volvo subscription service at launch. It will eventually sell the car to customers internationally at $155,000 apiece, but Polestar hasn't given a timeline for when the car will come stateside. A spokesperson told The Drive that when the Polestar 1 does arrive on American shores, it will journey to customers through Polestar "spaces," the brand's equivalent of a dealer. Orders for the car will be taken online prior to the establishment of these points of sale, and regardless of whether American buyers choose to buy outright or rent monthly, the Polestar 1 will arrive via Polestar "spaces."

High demand for the car in China is probably not the only reason the market is getting the model first—the nesting dolls that are Polestar, Volvo, and then Chinese-owned Geely may also affect the first market launch chosen by Polestar.