by Michael Butler
The first thing that comes to mind when the word 'Polestar' is mentioned should naturally be Swedish auto manufacturer Volvo. The brand started as Volvo's hardcore performance division and has now flowered into its own separate brand - building some seriously impressive hybrid machines and with an eye on an electric future including this, the first generation of a new type of sports coupe, the 2020 Polestar 1. The plug-in hybrid Polestar 1 is a gorgeous sports coupe that looks similar to the Volvo S90 but packs a 619-horsepower and 737-lb-ft of torque punch thanks to a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged four-pot engine along with three electric motors. Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed auto transmission. This type of performance doesn't come cheap, however: The 2020 Polestar 1 coupe has a price of $155,000. But for the money, you do get a lot of features, performance, and, importantly, exclusivity. The Polestar 1 faces competition in the form of its sibling, the Volvo S90 Hybrid, and the formidable Tesla Model S Performance on the all-electric front. Alternatively, the BMW M8 Coupe is just spoiling for a fight, which makes any review of the 2020 Polestar 1 a multi-faceted affair.
The Polestar 1 is an all-new PHEV offering arriving this year, and the brand itself has chosen this vehicle to debut its new direction as a standalone brand forgoing fossil fuel in favor of electrification. While some details are shared with mainstream Volvo products, a carbon fiber body and an incredible level of performance set this car apart from any other vehicle that this car borrows from.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
The Polestar 1 is brand-spanking new, and what an impression the PHEV has made already. Borrowing the know-how and expertise from motoring giants Volvo, Polestar has had a significant advantage in entering the eco-sports car battle with the Polestar 1, particularly when it comes to reliability and solid safety ratings. Not only does the 2-door coupe look great, but it's a bit of a technological marvel and makes extensive use of carbon fiber and other lightweight materials to keep the bad numbers down - within reason. Under the hood, the combination of a turbo- and supercharged engine and three electric motors produces impressive plug-in performance, and we are thoroughly impressed with the Polestar 1's electric-only range. We do have a few gripes, including a finicky infotainment system, tight rear seats, and a cramped trunk, but those issues are easily forgettable as soon as you climb behind the wheel. With only 1,500 of these Swedish weapons being built worldwide, exclusivity will always be by your side, even though it comes at a cost of $155k in the US.
There's only one option on the table, and it comes with all available features, so you'll basically get to choose the color you want. If it were up to us, we'd get one in white or black to match the stunning interior.
The most popular competitors of 2020 Polestar 1: