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Polestar won't limit top speeds like Volvo

Premium electrified performance brand's cars will race on to higher velocities.

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Andrew Hoyle/Roadshow

made waves on Monday when it announced that beginning next year, it will start phasing in a 112-mile-per-hour top speed on all of its vehicles. At the time, the Swedish automaker's new electrified premium brand, Polestar , remained quiet on whether it plans to adopt the same policy. It will not.

On Tuesday here at the Geneva Motor Show, I sat down with Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath after the debut of his company's new Polestar 2 EV. He revealed, "We obviously will not do that, and that is a nice brand differentiator [from Volvo]." He continued, "we have not the wish within Polestar to actually dictate to somewhat speed he or she should drive."

According to Ingenlath, not only would limiting the v-max of its vehicles to such a low speed be contrary to the brand's high-performance image, he thinks the discussion itself is almost beside the point with electric cars.

2021 Polestar 2 is Sweden's sleek Tesla rival

See all photos

"Naturally, our questions are anyway in a different realm, because with electric cars, you do not discuss high speed anymore that much. That is much more an element of the combustion-engine world. Even with Tesla , [you] have to look up the top speed. For us, it would be silly to announce it [limiting top speed], because really, it's not a question that's relevant to us as a brand."

Because of the way electric motors deliver power, with maximum torque output coming from zero rpm, the most sensational aspect of electric vehicle performance tends to be standing-start acceleration, like 0-to-60-mph tests. Top speeds aren't discussed as often, in part because most EVs have single-speed transmissions that result in comparatively unspectacular velocities.

Volvo has built its reputation on safety, and the company is doubling-down on that with the top-speed announcement, as well as revealing that it plans to research automatically limiting top speed in areas around schools and hospitals. While Polestar models will share much of Volvo's safety knowhow, it will evidently not seek to wear that reputation on its sleeve. According to Ingenlath, Polestar is "a bit more expressive, a bit more daring, it's a bit more, indeed, exclusive. Some people will like it, some people will not, and it is more driver-oriented."

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Watch this: The Polestar 2 EV is gorgeous in Geneva
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Chris Paukert Former executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.

Updated March 6, 2019 6:10 a.m. PT

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Written by  Chris Paukert
CNET staff -- not advertisers, partners or business interests -- determine how we review the products and services we cover. If you buy through our links, we may get paid. Reviews ethics statement
skype-headshot
Chris Paukert Former executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
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