For those of you late to the party, Polestar is Volvo’s performance brand. Then in October, Polestar became a new and separately branded electric performance car company. The Swedish auto group is now setting up its own dealership structure with interesting delivery methods. In case you have been chomping at the bit to get one of Volvo’s electric/hybrid hot rods, salvation is at hand: Polestar just announced which markets will be getting their cars first.
With regard to the Polestar 1, the sub-brand’s first car, the reservations have been flying off the virtual shelves. The Swedish automaker says new “subscriptions” already outnumber early production slots. In other words, there are more orders then there are cars on the assembly line at the moment. That’s got to be a good thing for a new car company to hear. When they launched the brand, Polestar says more than one customer per minute was registering their interest in being one of the first “owners” of a Polestar 1. And that’s one of the interesting things surrounding the car. It’s not just innovative in its design and build and technology, but they are also breaking out a semi-new way of “selling” the things.
To receive a Polestar 1, you don’t buy it, you subscribe to it.
At Your Service
In theory, this subscription model takes care of all of your personal transportation needs (as far as Polestar is concerned). You order the car virtually, sort of like buying something from Amazon. There will be dealerships to help customers see the vehicle and do the touch and feel thing, while the sales staff help them through the ordering process. The Polestar 1 and all follow on models will be offered using this new subscription model. To get a Polestar 1, there’s no deposit required and the all-inclusive monthly payment aims to deliver “hassle-free usage” and seemingly covers everything: insurance, depreciation, pick up and delivery for the inclusive servicing program, and various, on-demand benefits as-and-when you require them, sir or madam.
In a way, the Polestar 1 is sort of like cable TV in automobile form. All you do is contact your cable, er, Polestar provider, select your package (i.e. car) and the thing shows up. Any issues, call the number, and they’ll get it fixed. Yes, I know this sounds like a good idea in theory. In theory. As anyone who has waited around all friggin’ day for the cable guy to show up only to not have the right box in his truck might see the weak points in this idea. Then again, Polestar is selling something much more expensive than a cable subscription, so you’d hope they would be a little more attentive to customer support and satisfaction than a cable company. I mean, no one can be lower than a cable company when it comes to that stuff, can they?
The bad news is that the Polestar 1 will not be available worldwide on initial launch. The primary inaugural markets will be the United States, China, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands. So if you’re a Polestar fan that lives in, oh, let’s say England, you’re out of luck on the first go round. Polestar says they went with these initial markets due to customer demand. More countries will be introduced across the world later on with a formal announcement made at a later date. Polestar Spaces, what they officially call dealerships, are expected to open by the middle of 2019.
The car itself, the Polestar 1, was covered by us recently, but just to fill you in, the first car with the Polestar logo on the hood is a 2+2 Grand Touring Coupé with a stonking 600 horsepower Electric Performance Hybrid powertrain. It has an all-electric range of 150 kilometers, or around 94 miles, which should be enough for around town driving.
Pricing & Availability
Polestar 1s will start rolling off the assembly line in mid-2019 at a new, purpose-built Polestar Production Center in Chengdu, China. Sadly, no word on price, but “expressions of interest” can be made through Polestar’s website. These will be converted when the formal order books for the Polestar 1 open early next year.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format.