By on October 18, 2017

2020 Polestar 1 profile - Image: PolestarBy nature, we’re skeptics. It’s in the job description.

Thus, while it’s hard not to fall in love with the idea of Volvo’s new 2020 Polestar 1 offspring — I mean, just look at it — we also know how hard it is to kickstart a new luxury brand, regardless of whether Polestar wants to sit far outside the luxury mainstream or right at the heart of the matter. We can’t help but wonder whether the Polestar 1 is not representative of the ideal luxury brand launch.

As doubters, as pessimists, as cynics, as preternatural killjoys, as wary realists, we have questions about this new upstart premium automotive entity. Many questions.2020 Polestar 1 Collage - Images: Polestar

  1. The Polestar 1 looks like the most attractive anonymous coupe to ever star in an insurance advertisement: why is there no badge in the grille?
  2. The Polestar 1 will be “sold” exclusively through the same kind of Care by Volvo program Volvo is launching with the XC40 — what if I just want to own it?
  3. It looks like a Volvo inside and out, so why isn’t the Polestar 1 a Volvo?
  4. Does the Polestar 1 look so much like a Volvo because it (along with its Polestar 2 and Polestar 3 successors) is built in China as part of Volvo’s Geely parent company? Because Geely knows a new, exclusively China-built lineup with no visual connection to Volvo might not be as accepted globally?
  5. If all of the Polestar brand’s successive models are going to be all-electric vehicles — a Tesla Model 3 rival and an SUV — why is the first Polestar hosting an ICE assistant?
  6. Is the limited production run (only 500 per year) caused by Volvo’s knowledge that the brand has proven to be largely unsuccessful at selling coupes over the last few decades?2020 Polestar 1 badging - Image: Polestar
  7. Is “High Modulus CFRP Body/Optimized Carbon Fiber Layout” the most unnecessary badging ever placed on a car’s flanks, and will it be removed for production?
  8. It’s not exactly Accord, 4Runner, or Wrangler, let alone Mustang, Quattroporte, 812 Superfast, or Marauder: why couldn’t Volvo/Polestar/Geely come up with any name for the car whatsoever? Honestly, just the 1? Not even the One?
  9. Does the u-turn in Polestar’s mission from Volvo tuner to upstart luxo-EV brand mean the Polestar’s racing heritage falls to bits?
  10. Why is Polestar so solemn, so gloomy, so dark about the company’s new status as an automaker?
  11. The Polestar 1 is a handsome and classy coupe, but will a 737-lb-ft, carbon fiber-bodied, rear and all-wheel-drive opening gamut that lacks typical supercar cues and a supercar profile attract buyers of hi-po coupes?
  12. Is Polestar — how can we broach this subject — a mildly inappropriate name for an automotive brand?
  13. It’s six inches shorter than the BMW 4 Series coupe, or about the length of a Honda Civic: is that too tidy for a halo car?

[Images: Polestar]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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21 Comments on “13 Burning Questions We Have for Volvo’s 2020 Polestar 1...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Those are excellent questions.

  • avatar

    I have a question I’d like to add to the list.
    Can actual adult human beings sit in the back seats? From the looks of it, there is less seating room in back than a Porsche 911. Volvo should make up their mind; design it like a true GT like the 911 or produce a realistic 4-seat coupe.

  • avatar

    It is a very good looking car, but aside from the complicatron powertrain(s) there is really nothing exotic about it and Polestar is only aspirational to moneyed Volvo eccentrics.

    This should just be a new C70 starting at $43K for a T5 and $50K for a T6 AWD.

  • avatar

    “This should just be a new C70 starting at $43K for a T5 and $50K for a T6 AWD.”

    This X 1000.
    Volvo, things are going great with the new XC90…why not continue the trend with this attractive coupe, put an ICE in it, and get people excited about Volvo again.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    14. Why does it look so much like a Mustang?

  • avatar

    I think the Volvo-ness is deliberate, both for generating interest and for providing a way out if the new brand fails — just re-badge it and carry on. And as long as something looks this good, I frankly don’t care what the brand is.

    What’s wrong with the name, though?

  • avatar

    14. Why would anyone want to buy it?

    I mean, I *like* Volvo. I bought an XC70 T6 for my daily.

    This thing… why?

    Why make Polestar a brand, when nobody but Volvo fanatics even knows it exists? At least people know about and often like Volvo, and more people know about Volvo’s performance and rally history than recognize Polestar, I’m pretty sure.

    Why start with a no-roofline coupe for a notional luxury performance brand?

    (I agree, if you *must* make a stupid no-headroom coupe, at least just call it the C70 or C60 or something. Put a Volvo badge on it.

  • avatar

    Shut up and take my money….

    Unless it’s really expensive, in which case can someone opine on the going rate for a kidney?

  • avatar

    It’s freaking nice looking and different from the boring coupes right now. Polestar/Volvo will have a 6 month waiting list for the first few years of sale.

  • avatar
    westside auto

    ” Polestar/Volvo will have a 6 month waiting list for the first few years of sale.” Not to be a Smart Aleck, but you do realize they are only building 500 units/year??

  • avatar

    Next question, did they get the name “Polestar 1” from an episode of MST3K?

    And I don’t know if the size will absolutely be an issue (plenty of expensive coupes around 180in in length, although most of them are closer to pure sports cars), although we’ll see if the market buys it as more than an S60 coupe.

  • avatar

    #3 is the one I just don’t get. Seems like this would be a great halo car for Volvo. They are already trying to sell a $100K SUV so an upmarket coupe isn’t that far fetched.

    The big question I have is a subscription model really something people want? I guess in some regards it makes perfect sense given how popular leases are. So moving to a straight up month fee is the next logically step. This works fine for Netflix but for a car? Seems to work for upscale downtown apartments and luxury jets so maybe buyers in this income range are fine with it. Also given the massive deprecation all luxury vehicles seem to suffer from this pricing model allows Polestar to stop that cycle. They can control the pricing so the car will never fall into that “finally cheap enough to own” category. This way all 1 owners will feel special… until the 2 comes out.

  • avatar

    Volvo is finally making cars I think are attractive. That V90 wagon has me wanting.

  • avatar

    I like that it has no badging; it gives it a very clean look, as well as an air of mystery. Besides, I am not a fan of the diagonal band on the grilles of Volvos.

    Though I am a repeat coupe buyer,I expect that this will probably be priced out of my market.

  • avatar

    I genuinely don’t understand this. Make a gorgeous car, that’s clearly a volvo, then call it a weirdly tacky phallic name.

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