Polestar is Volvo’s onetime de-facto performance division that has transformed into a fully realized, electrified brand with a little help from Volvo’s cash-flush Chinese parent company, Geely. Polestar’s first car, the aptly named 1, is a limited-production Bentley-rivaling grand tourer. No surprise, we were impressed with the performance of this muscular gasoline-electric hybrid machine in our recent review, which also gave us plenty of time to get up close with the seductive two-door coupe. Did we mention its tin-charged (turbo and supercharged) four-cylinder engine and set of electric motors deliver a total output of 619 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque? Sexy and very quick, the Polestar also is loaded with cool Easter egg details that you might not notice if you just happened upon one on the street—so we dug up the seven coolest for you:
Few and far between
First of all, you’re unlikely to just come across a Polestar 1 in the wild. They are exceedingly rare. Polestar will build just 1,500 examples in the first year; about 130 of which are destined for the U.S. market. For reference, Porsche sent more than 200 examples of the 918 Spyder hypercar to the States, making it likely you’ll see one of those before you ever lay eyes on a Polestar 1.
You shouldn’t really call it a Volvo
Despite the fact Polestar currently shares most of its interior and exterior design language with Volvo, the performance brand insists that it is separate from the company that spawned it. In fact, everywhere you look there are Polestar logos. Everything from the badges on the hood and trunk to the logos on the windows and wheel hubs sport Polestar’s logo. Pop the hood and rummage around long enough, and you’ll eventually find a few hoses and other minor components with the “Volvo” stamping. Still, this car is very much its own machine, familiar styling notwithstanding.
No junk in this trunk
The trunk of the Polestar is almost unreasonably small. However, that’s partly because of the bright orange high-voltage wiring array that’s put on glorious display where some customers might simply want to shove an extra carry-on bag. We think the electronics show is nifty, and each wiring loom’s purpose and placement are displayed on the trunk’s protective glass panel. Polestar could have hidden the wiring away like most automakers do, but instead chose to show off its electrification in quite an imaginative way.
The phrase “Since 1959” sits engraved on the seat belt buckle of the Polestar 1. It is a detail so minute that eventual owners of the car might never notice it, but it is loaded with historical importance. Volvo invented the “V” shaped, three-point safety belts that are now mandatory on every road going vehicle. It was one of the single biggest improvements in vehicle safety since the advent of the car itself, and Volvo is particularly proud of it—as they should be. So, yeah, count this among the Polestar’s few visible links to Volvo—but one well worth it and loaded with pedigree.
Almost-gold accents, everywhere
Polestar is proud to be a performance brand. As such, some key performance parts are painted a sort of burnt-yellow color to show off some extra sportiness—or just for a dash of pizazz. The Akebono-brand brake calipers and each wheel’s valve stem cap are both almost yellow. So, too, are the seatbelts (as in some recent Polestar-fettled Volvos). But the almost-gold accents are also where you can’t see them. In the middle of the shock towers sits a small dial for manually adjusting the firmness of the Öhlins dampers—twist clockwise to firm up the ride, and in the opposite direction to soften it back up. That little knob is also painted in the contrasting gold.
If you get the chance to sit inside a Polestar 1, look up. You’ll notice the roof is made almost entirely of glass. That’s not new in the luxury or coupe segments these days, but projected onto the glass is a small Polestar logo. It’s relatively small, and is cast onto the roof by a small light on the panel with the interior reading lights. It’s another small detail that sets the Polestar apart from Volvo’s cars and makes the case that it’s a true luxury machine.
Assuming you’ve made your way inside the Polestar, take a look around. You’ll notice luxury touches everywhere. The tweeter grilles for the Bowers and Wilkins stereo are metal and the leather on the seats is brogued like on an expensive pair an Allen Edmonds shoes. Not only that, but the interior is two-tone: The front seats are a luscious ivory color, and the rears are black leather. Even though the majority of the switchgear is clearly sourced from Volvo, these simple touches really set the Polestar apart from the “lowly” Volvo range.
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