13 Burning Questions We Have for Volvo's 2020 Polestar 1

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
13 burning questions we have for volvo s 2020 polestar 1

By 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.

  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?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • Why is Polestar so solemn, so gloomy, so dark about the company’s new status as an automaker?
  • 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?
  • Is Polestar — how can we broach this subject — a mildly inappropriate name for an automotive brand?
  • 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 Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

    Join the conversation
    2 of 21 comments
    • SilverCoupe SilverCoupe on Oct 18, 2017

      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.

    • Eaststand Eaststand on Oct 18, 2017

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

    • Stuart de Baker I didn't bother to read this article. I'll wait until a definitive headline comes out, and I'll be surprised if Tesla actually produces the Cybertruck. It certainly looks impractical for both snowy and hot sunny weather.
    • Stuart de Baker This is very interesting information. I was in no danger of buying a Tesla. I love my '08 Civic (stick), and it feels just as responsive as when I bought it 11 years ago with 35k on the clock (now 151k), and barring mishaps, I plan to keep it for the next 25 years or so, which would put me into my mid-90s, assuming I live that long. On your information, I will avoid renting Teslas.
    • RHD The only people who would buy this would be those convinced by a website that they are great, and order one sight-unseen. They would have to have be completely out of touch with every form of media for the last year. There might actually be a few of these people, but not very many. They would also have to be completely ignorant of the Hyundai Excel. (Vinfast seems to make the original Excel look like a Camry in comparison.)
    • RHD This was awesome, in 1978. Now, it's very much obsolete - thirsty, slow, ponderous, noisy, rough, and dated design even in its time. Still, someone who wants to recreate some distant memories will buy it and restore it and enjoy it, and the seller just has to find that particular individual.
    • BEPLA Cybertruck may have made some kind of weird sense had it been brought on market on time, ie: before Rivian and F150 Lightning.But the market has progressed.If this were any normal company it would be ditched for a more competitive product.But in Elon's narcissistic dreamworld - well, we'll just see how it flops.