Polestar Targets Tesla And Porsche, Says CEO

JUL 13 2018 BY VANJA KLJAIĆ 36

From once targetting M and AMG, to setting sights on Tesla and Porsche

For Polestar, the last few years brought on a drastic change. With their turn to electricity, the company went from painting a target on the back of Mercedes-Benz AMG and BMW M to acquiring completely different high-level targets. With their path to electrification clearly laden, the company sees itself going toe-to-toe with Tesla and the increasingly EV-oriented Porsche.

“Our conviction is 100% that the future of (the) automotive industry is electrification,” Polestar CEO, Thomas Ingenlath

Polestar was founded by its parent company, Volvo, solely to race ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) high-performance derivatives of their road-legal models. Their long-term run was considered successful and it allowed the performance brand to acquire the much-needed experience and know how. But, with the advent of electrification, the company turned their attention to electric premium high-performance vehicles.

Last year, the Chinese owned, Swedish high-performance brand laid out a plan to offer all-electric high-performance models under their own name. Furthermore, last month, they’ve announced “Polestar Engineered”, a trim level that’s to become available for certain, high-performance electrified models from the Volvo range. But, the company is out there gunning for more.

Ever since Polestar got more room to breathe by the parent company, big things were starting to brew in Sweden. Certainly, Polestar has plans to offer partially and fully electrified vehicles with its parent company,  sharing componentry and technology with Volvo. But, Polestar got our blood flowing thanks to the prospects of the solely-developed electric models that were teased & announced by the company in recent months.

“Polestar brand with our product is one thing,” Ingenlath says. “Volvo and us and us working for Volvo in terms of doing PE cars (is a separate endeavor).”

While the forthcoming Polestar 1 is based on Volvo’s new SPA unibody platform, sharing some of its design language and tech with the Volvo S90, the Polestar 2 – an all-electric midsize 4-door coupe – is set to be something completely different. According to Ingenlath, the Polestar 2’s exterior and interior are “Polestar-unique and specific.” However, its safe to assume some of the componentry and design cues will be shared by Volvo to some extent.

“It will show that there is a family behind it,” he says. “(We’ve made) a clear decision, that we will not do the utmost to make the opposite of what Volvo is. There (are) shared values and Scandinavian design is based on all of that. Sharing the base technology is the foundation of our business model … and then we do our thing with it. Certainly the top power position that we will do then (will be) very much in the Polestar focus.”

Currently, Polestar has 550 pre-orders for the Polestar 1 which goes on sale next year. The vehicle comes priced at $155,000 to start and anyone willing to order it had to put down a €2,500 deposit ($2,918). For many, the Polestar 1 is one of the sleekest looking contemporary coupes to ever be revealed. It uses a plug-in hybrid powertrain. It uses a 2.0 liter supercharged and turbocharged engine, delivering 336 horsepower, combined with two 163-kW electric motors and one 35-kW integrated starter/generator that altogether make 600 hp and 738 lb.-ft. (1,000 Nm) of torque.

While Polestar set out to build just 500 units of the vehicle, the increased demand meant the company is now looking to expand capacity at a new dedicated Chengdu, China, plant – set to open this summer. Still, the vehicle will still be produced in limited numbers only. After all, the carbon-fiber-intense Polestar 1 needs to wait for “the glue to dry.”

The straight line acceleration numbers showcased by Tesla have the world watching in awe. But, for Porsche and most notably – Polestar – the idea of speed & sheer thrill is a bit different.

“As soon as you’re beyond the 4.0-second (mark) and zero to 100, all that feels just flipping fast anyway and you’re not able to detect the difference anymore,” he continues, saying the more important metric is overall performance. “How does the car handle and how does it drive around the street and the bend and how does it feel?”

If Polestar can translate their design language from the concept car to production car without losing too much of its appeal, add the handling prowess their racing cars were most known for, they might have one of the hottest electric models – in the form of the Polestar 1 and 2 – coming to the market in the next few years. Hopefully, the old guard at Mercedes-AMG and BMW M is paying attention and making sure they don’t get left behind in this EV race.

7 photos
Polestar 1 Polestar 1 Polestar 1

Source: Ward’s

Categories: Porsche, Tesla, Volvo

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36 Comments on "Polestar Targets Tesla And Porsche, Says CEO"

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Miggy

If I was looking to buy a Tesla, Jaguar i-Pace or Porsche I would not include the Volvo Polestar in the mix for consideration.

Nice

I would

David Green

Same for me, its a great looking car, and should come in with competitive pricing.

lamata

#1….It’s Hideous …#2 ….. It’s Hideous ……etc ; etc:…& Why Target Anyone ? Makes NO SENSE ! Just Make a More compelling Product . Which They Obviously are Not Capable to do..BTW…..They are Way 0ff Target..With this FUGLY Contraption …

Big Solar

its not that bad, looks like a european mustang but i agree, why target anyone? Dumb.

Miggy

Four Doors Vs Two Doors.
BEV Vs PHEV.

Shaun

For the life of me, I just don’t understand the hype for this car.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Indeed.

With an initial target of only 500 units, even if production is expanded somewhat, sales of the Polestar 1 would hardly even be a rounding error for a company of the size of Tesla or Porsche.

And it’s apparently aimed at only the Chinese market, so it’s not like the vast majority of IEVs readers would ever have the opportunity to buy one even if they wanted one.

Nicholas Kelischek

Um, it’s not an EV.

lamata

It’s “FUGLY” as Hell!

Pushmi-Pullyu

Article says it’s a PHEV. Last I looked, the “EV” in “PHEV” (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) did mean the same as the “EV” in “EV”. 😉

Will

Yelp I hate it when people discount my gen 1 volt for being ev but drive only electric the whole day

Pushmi-Pullyu

EV purists who try to insist that PHEVs are not EVs remind me of the Baptist joke that ends “So I yelled ‘Die, heretic!’ and pushed him off.” 😉

http://www.christenacleveland.com/blogarchive/2012/10/die-heretic-the-absurdity-of-divisions-in-the-church

EV supporters should be inclusive in advocating for all types of EVs, not exclusive in claiming there are only a few “real” EVs.

jelloslug

Another “Tesla killer” enters the ring with a low volume car and no real charging network. When will one of these companies realize that all they need to do is suck it up and license the Supercharger network access….

Will

Stop with the charging network. Ford,GM, Toyota and Honda don’t have networks . Let the market decide

Vexar

Who was the first to 200,000 EVs in the US? Who has three BEVs available to consumers today? #1-selling luxury mid-sized sedan in America. #1-selling large luxury SUV in America. #1-selling large luxury sedan in America. Market’s doing a great job deciding.

Oh, it’s gotta be Cadillac, right?
Polestar isn’t on anyone’s radar at this point. This is Volvo testing the waters. Their first mistake: make it look like an ICE with street racing styles. First lesson: kill that grill; it looks like black gingham!
Second mistake: limit production to the point that image is the major selling point (see point #1) Fisker sold their Karma. ICEs still need lots of maintenance, especially a performance vehicle. Third mistake (anticipated): dashboard is bedazzled with buttons, knobs, sliders, and switches. Who does that appeal to in 2018? Blackberry users?

Dan

No way! What a scam! Chinese owner so greedy trying to use subpar technology to sell at premium price! A get rich quick scheme!

John

Yawn. The vehicle is only half of the equation. The other half is having a CANVASSED fast-charging network with MULTIPLE stalls at every charging location (enough to prevent long waits) that services charging requirements wherever one wants to drive. I keep saying that. It keeps getting ignored. And that’s ok. Manufacturers can keep rolling out their “Tesla Killers,” spend all their time making their one-time clay concept cars, and Tesla will simply shrug and keep expanding their Supercharging network, unopposed.

Loboc

Exactly how many people take their Tesla on a road trip? Anecdotal evidence indicates they drive their Escalade or other large gas/diesel vehicle.

John

Missed the point… entirely. EV’s to EV’s. Apples to Apples. This article was comparing one EV (Electric Vehicle) company to another EV (that’s an ELECTRIC VEHICLE) company. Only one ELECTRIC VEHICLE company has a Supercharging network. So any other EV company that doesn’t have a Supercharging network that wants to compete with one that does, in order to be competitive, needs to have an equivalent charging solution.

And because you drive your massive gas guzzler on roadtrips doesn’t dismiss all the thousands of Teslas that are used to roadtrip or commute long distance- DAILY. And use the Supercharging network to do so. If you don’t believe me, get inside any Tesla, poke the navigation screen, then poke any Supercharger within a moderately populated area during peak hours, and you will see how massively used the Supercharging network is.

Then, do yourself a favor, and go buy a Tesla. (You’re welcome)

Will

No they were talking the performance of the vehicle no the company. You need some reading comprehension

John

I did read the article. In fact, all I had to ‘comprehend’ was the headline, regarding Polestar “TARGETING” Tesla. You think “TARGETING” only means performance specs, and not sales of the COMPANY, too?

But I guess if driving faster than a Tesla (depending on which Model S or X) without the ability to turn the car around and quickly continue traveling doesn’t matter, then go buy a Polestar. Or for the same price as a P100D you can buy the ICE Polestar version and skip the whole charging thing altogether- and enjoy good old gasoline still.

Comprehend that.

Will

Let’s ask Tesla since they have the Data

Vexar

A ridiculous amount. Go find a supercharger and watch. I’ve been road-tripping in my Tesla for 5 1/2 years. Talk to different ‘dotes and you’ll get different anecs. And that is patently untrue, No Tesla owner I know does this. I know a *lot* more Tesla owners than you do.

John

It’s not even worth responding to. I love when folks who’ve never even ridden in a Tesla tell me how my Model S can’t be driven long distances. Range and the Supercharging network (so you can roadtrip) are 2 of the main reasons that folks buy Teslas.

Chris Stork

Swing and a miss.

Steve

Polestar targets whoever is flavor-of-the-month.

“Someone please buy our car… PLEASE!!!”

Did anyone point out that a polestar is a successful topless dancer?

2xTesla

Porsche is pretentious. Make your first EV and in significant numbers before saying that you’re a target also.

R.S

Great, another Porsche killer…

Vexar

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Benz

Not interested in buying a car model that will be produced in limited numbers.

R.S

Totally agree, I am still waiting for that one car being built in infinite numbers, since that will be an incredibly cheap car.

Just think about the economics of scale!

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Polestar Targets Tesla And Porsche, Says CEO”

I think there are a few words missing from that headline. It should read “Polestar Targets Chinese Market for Tesla and Porsche”.

With that prominent grille, the Polestar is obviously aimed squarely at the Chinese market, where oversized grilles are popular.

Vexar

OK, that makes more sense. I thought to myself “what’s with the grill? Nobody serious is doing the grill thing.” Thanks!

Pushmi-Pullyu

Oh, you think the Polestar 1 has a big grille?

Crocodile Dundee might say “That’s not a grille, THIS is a grille!”

comment image
The Chinese-made BYD Dynasty electric concept car

Big Solar

I think at this point any company saying they are targeting Tesla is just saying hey look at us, we’re here too, well kinda sorta (but not really)