ONLY THREE YEARS AFTER ITS GLOBAL DEBUT, THE GLORIOUSLY OPULENT AND BOUNDARY-DEFYING POLESTAR 1 IS BIDDING AUTODOM FAREWELL, BUT IT’S GOING OUT WITH A BANG
BY EVAN MONROE
Some things aren’t meant to last forever. Such is the case for Swedish marque Polestar’s halo car, the 619-horsepower performance PHEV that made its grand entrance only three years ago for model year 2019.
According to Polestar’s CEO Thomas Ingenlath, the 1 wasn’t designed with a specific customer in mind, nor was it intended to compete with any other vehicle. Instead, its purpose was to set the tone for the Volvo subsidiary, an electric performance brand that will continue its run with the Polestar 2, a pure EV with a much more digestible entry point of $59,900 (as opposed to the 1’s $155,000 price tag). And to make its final act even more dramatic, a limited production special edition will drape the grand tourer in matte gold paint with matching golden brake calipers and interior stitching.
The Polestar 1’s engineering wizardry begins with a feather light body composed of a carbon fiber reinforced polymer, fed by a unique hybrid powertrain that consists of a super- and turbo charged inline four driving the front axle and a pair of electric motors at the rear. Combined, the all-wheel drive system puts out 619 ponies and 738 lb.-ft. of torque. Drivers are treated to 52 all-electric miles on a single charge, currently the longest range of any plug-in hybrid on the road.
Additional features that put the coupe in the six figure-plus category include massive six-piston Akebono brakes, luscious Nappa leather seats, adjustable Öhlins dampers, a premium Bowers & Wilkins sound system that can mimic the acoustics of Sweden’s Gothenburg Hall, and a pure crystal shift knob. While the trunk space isn’t nabbing any best-in-class awards, a transparent acrylic pane in the boot highlighting the electrification of the rear axle does score major wow-factor points.
Since its release, only 500 iterations of the 1 have been manufactured each year, and the gold-scale special edition will be even more exclusive with just 25 total units, cementing its status as a true collector’s car. Sadly, production on this fascinating power-hungry PHEV (pictured above in “Snow”) will end later this year, but a rule-dashing follow-up is already in the works.