Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath hand picked Joakim Rydholm to be the lead development engineer for the company’s first model as a stand-alone brand.
“He told me, ‘I want you to lead this project and make this car work’,” Rydholm said. “I thought about it for maybe a second and then said, ‘Yes’!”
Ingenlath next told Rydholm the Polestar 1 “should be a fantastic car and you are responsible for this,” the engineer recounted.
Rydholm said achieving the mission was possible because Ingenlath never hesitated when he asked for approval for anything that would make the car’s performance superior.
Rydholm and team members such as chassis specialist Fredrik Lundqvist were previously responsible for Polestar-tuned versions of Volvo models such as the V60 or S60. That means people who have owned or driven one of those cars [which I did during an event in 2015] will find that the performance and driving dynamics similar in the Polestar 1.
The difference I felt while testing the Polestar 1 last week at Volvo Car Group’s Hallered Proving Grounds was that everything is markedly better. For instance, the coupe’s braking is superb, especially at very high speeds, and the steering is intuitive and consistent.
“The driver should be in control even when pushing the limits,” Rydholm said while we were zipping around the handling track.
Today, Rydholm is probably still tinkering with the Polestar 1.
“You need to work until you get the feeling it is as perfect as possible because if you don’t believe in the car the customer will know it,” Rydholm said. “I hope the driver knows we had fun creating this.”