By on February 25, 2020

While many are still under the impression that Chinese automakers will never manage to wrangle the North American automotive market, Geely’s ownership of Volvo Cars and Polestar has already proven them wrong. The Chinese manufacturer purchased Volvo in 2010, with savory bodywork and sumptuous interiors doing much of the heavy lifting with consumers. Performance-focused Polestar wasn’t purchased until a few years later, but the theme remained largely the same — move toward electrification, don’t forget about safety, and try to build the sexiest car possible while maintaining an aura of respectability.

So far, it’s worked rather well. Polestar is now eager to drive that message home via its new Precept concept vehicle. The company claims the car reveals “a vision of the brand’s future direction and a clear expression of intent.” Since we’re fluent in marketing speak, we’re pleased to tell you that sentence is not entirely meaningless. 

The Precept supposedly adheres to the brand’s core values — “pure, progressive and performance,” in case you were wondering. For obvious reasons, we can gloss over “pure.” “Progressive,” when uttered by a large company, typically indicates some form of environmental and/or ethical appeasement. On the four-door Precept, that means complete electrification and an impressive amount of recycled materials used in its (hypothetical) construction.

It’s doubtful the laundry list of detailed items will make it to any production model, though it does show Polestar is considering how materials could be reused for automotive applications. We’ve seen other manufacturers do something similar with production EVs already, so this isn’t new territory. Polestar has just taken this idea to the extreme with its concept vehicle.

From Polestar:

Sustainable new interior materials balance modern high-tech luxury with reduced environmental impact. Bcomp’s flax-based composites for interior panels and seatbacks offer significant improvements over conventional materials, including up to 50 [percent] saving in weight and up to 80 [percent] reduction of plastic waste.

Seat surfaces are 3D-knitted from recycled PET bottles, bolsters and headrests are made from recycled cork vinyl, while carpets are made from reclaimed fishing nets. These elements, combined with digital artistry, define a new premium luxury that surpasses the conventions of leather, wood and chrome.

The rest is a buffet of technology. There’s a LIDAR pod to underpin Polestar’s claims of self-driving capability, cameras replacing mirrors, proximity sensors to assist with motion controls, eye-tracking cameras (always glued to the driver) to shift important screens to wherever you look (and to presumably to aid in autonomous safety), a portrait-oriented 15-inch center touch screen with advanced Google integration and loads of ways to digitally personalize the cabin.

Of course, the best part is the design. Polestar describes the exterior as “minimalistic athleticism” — a suitable term. Major design changes that could influence future production models include tweaked Mjölnir headlamps and body creases that add some edge — both figuratively and literally. The Precept has climbed Mount Sexy without risking its footing through gregarious additions. While the manufacturer said loads of work went into the vehicle’s aerodynamics, there’s no gaping maw or towering spoiler to push the otherwise aggressive design into the realm of ridiculousness. You could probably drive it to a funeral without accidentally stealing the show.

But is this concept just a showpiece to highlight the capabilities of Polestar’s design team … or are they seriously going to try and take this idea and run with it? According to Polestar’s leadership, it’s the latter.

“Precept is a declaration, a vision of what Polestar stands for and what makes the brand relevant,” said Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar. “The car is a response to the clear challenges our society and industry face. This is not a dream of a distant future, Polestar Precept previews future vehicles and shows how we will apply innovation to minimise [sic] our environmental impact.”

It’ll take more than a digitally rendered automobile to achieve those goals, which isn’t to say we don’t want to see Polestar take a whack at it. And if they look half as good as the Precept, we doubt people will complain when it turns out the factory didn’t use quite as many recycled materials as they set out to. They’re buying into the green dream, and the Precept certainly seems like a pleasant one.

[Images: Polestar]

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