STOCKHOLM, Dec 8 — Volvo’s recently repositioned Polestar performance brand isn’t just looking to shake things up with the cars it builds, its first model is also going to make us think again about the way we might be “buying” our vehicles in the future too.
The debut model for the racing-inspired Polestar division of Volvo is going to be a relatively niche model, but a pretty exciting one nonetheless. The 2+2 plug-in hybrid coupe will look to tempt buyers who want all the performance but none of the environmental guilt away from the likes of Tesla and BMW’s i range.
With 362 horsepower, 570Nm of torque, and an electric-only range of 37 km, the Polestar 1 hybrid coupe is sure to be an interesting and desirable proposition. But the powertrain and performance are far from all that’s intriguing about this new entrant to the premium segment.
What’s really revolutionary about the Polestar 1 is the way it will avoid the traditional ownership model. Customers won’t be able to buy the Polestar 1 outright, but instead they’ll be offered it through a two- or three-year subscription. This isn’t like traditional leasing that’s now becoming so popular with buyers, and that’s because no down payment is required at the beginning of the contract and there’s also no balloon or residual payment at the conclusion of the agreement.
Consumers will also be able to take out the subscription online, and this comes at a time when Tesla and now Ford are also experimenting with new ways of supplying vehicles directly to consumers, which circumvent the traditional franchise dealership model.
Realistically BMW and Tesla don’t have a great deal to fear from the Polestar Model 1 at the moment as it’s so challenging to build that only 500 units will be built per year, and even then, those production levels won’t be reached until 2020.
What will be more significant is the Polestar 2, which will be a fully electric compact saloon arriving late in 2019 to rival the Tesla Model 3. — AFP-Relaxnews