Polestar 1: World's first drive in Sweden
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Polestar 1: World's first drive in Sweden

Roadshow
This is the post R1 It's a sporty coupe with a sophisticated understanding shave you'd be forgiven for thinking looks an awful lot like a Volvo. And that's because it does riddled with styling cues providing more than a subtle nod to post our Swedish parent company. But don't be fooled by appearances. Though the car share significant DNA both inside and out. This thing is unlike any Volvo on the planet. And of all the places on the planet, where better than Sweden on an occasionally lovely summer's day. To finally get my first session behind the wheel of a pre-production Polestar 1 and see what really sets it apart. It all starts with the powertrain which is similarly familiar, but also different. Up front we have a two liter turbo charged and super charged engine that, if that sounds familiar, well, that's because it's basically the same T8 powertrain that we've seen in the Volvo XT9. Maybe in other cars as well. That means it is a hybridized engine but the real magic is actually happening behind me. That's where there are two more electric motors, one driving each of the rear wheels. Total power? About 600 horsepower, but almost two thirds of that is running upfront. Because of the two motors at the rear, that means we've got two effectory going on. It wasn't going through the corners. And as I get on the power, I can actually feel it starting to move the call in and helping the pitch down a little bit. It's definitely interesting sensation. What we've got is basically think of an accurate nsx, but turn 180 degrees. So the gas engines up front driving the front wheels. The electric motors at the rear Driving the back. Like the NSX, the Pulstar One doesn't handle like you think it might. This is a car that actually rewards some less than subtle applications of the throtle mid corner, outside rear tire accelerating to help the car pivot and turn. Even in some occasionally unpleasant and rainy conditions. Mind you, I'm not complaining about the weather. Those sometimes less than ideal for filming soggy roads are absolutely ideal for feeling out the natural behavior of a car. As it turns out, that behavior on the pollster one is very good indeed. A lot of that comes down to the old ones dampers and always make some of the best suspension on the market. But interestingly, in the Polestar 1, these are basically old school shocks. There's no adaptor suspension going on here. Yes, you can adjust them if you want to, but you need to pop the hood and turn some knobs if you're doing so. You might think that would lead to some compromised handling, that it would be either too stiff or too soft. But I actually think that the Polestar engine Engineers have done a really good job of finding that perfect sweet spot. Yes, the car is firm but it's not punishing and when it comes over a craft over above it just settles immediately. And you just feel like you can get right back on the power again and dive right back in the next corner. It feels really really well balanced especially for a car. That weighs as much as this one does. This car weighs, are you ready for this, over 5100 pounds. That's more than the Tesla Model S, more than a Bentley Continental GT, but out here on the corners, you'd never know it. >> That weight comes despite significant use of carbon fiber throughout the car's exterior. A hint of weave peeking through here and there, but really only put on prominent display on the inside. To continue on the familiar trend. The interior here features a lot of components that we've seen on other Volvos before. The steering wheel, the seats the census infotainment system, even the crystal shifter are the same sort of things. Wasn't you'd see on an xc 90 or an xc 60. But weirdly, actually all works here and I think that is testament to how good Volvo's interiors are these days that you can take the interior out of a 60 or $70,000 SUV, drop it into a car that costs two or three times as much and it still looks good, but there have been some pretty significant upgrades. We've got carbon fiber all over the place to emphasize the sportiness And upgraded B and W sound system that sound remarkably good. And that leaves just one final aspect of the [UNKNOWN] I want to discuss. The look of the fan. I've saved the best for last because I believe this is remarkably good looking car. But again, a familiar one. It's in almost copy of 2013 concept car from Volvo called appropriately, The concept coupe. As a concept that car previewed the future of Volvo to come styling cues like the Thor's hammer headlights and those tall tail lights evolving and appearing on subsequent models like the Volvo S90 sedan. But in the post R1, they are on display in their most pure form creating a car that is anything but ostentatious. Except for these unfortunate graphics on the pre-production model here. While other cars in this class shout their performance with loud colors and big wings, the Polestar 1 is more like a well made suit. It doesn't beg for attention, but is so perfectly tailored, it makes the wearer feel like a superhero. Just look at those creases in the rear fenders. Savile row has nothing on this. The fullest R1 then is a complex proposition. A 600 horsepower heavyweight with the agility of something far lighter and frankly the interior of something far cheaper all wrapped in a delightfully understated package. While the fully electric Pole Star Two looks to push the brand in a new territory, the Pole Star one is a mixture of familiar and fresh. A less of a clean break and more of smooth transition and a beautiful sign of good things to come.

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