Volvo turned its race-tuning sub brand Polestar into its own company with a focus on electric performance last year, and at the Geneva Motor Show this week it revealed the Polestar 1 GT, a hybrid electric car that’s designed to go toe-to-toe with Tesla for performance-loving customers eager for alternative powertrain options.
In person, the Polestar 1 is quite fetching, especially in the matte grey that the car was wearing at the show. The styling is a bit more muscle car throwback than Tesla-like oval arcs, but that’s to the car’s credit – it looks a bit mean, but in a good way.
Polestar will begin accepting deposits for the car next week, asking for $3,000 down, in the form of a refundable deposit (which is another move straight from the Tesla playbook, coincidentally). Polestar says it’s already had inbound interest from over 6,000 customers, and it intends to make only 500 per year, so probably if you want one you should get a pre-order in.
Even if you do manage to pre-order a Polestar, remember that it’s not necessarily about buying these things outright: There’s an alternate ownership model being tried out with the vehicle along with its unique hybrid powertrain that allows customers to subscribe to them for either a two or a three-year period, with on-demand pick-ups, no deposit required and everything included in one flat monthly fee. There’s still the option to just outright buy one, too, however, if you’re a traditionalist at heart.
About that hybrid drive train mentioned above – it’ll be able to put out around 600 horsepower in total, and provide up to 150 km of driving range rom the EV drivetrain alone, something Polestar says is a global record for a hybrid. The front wheel drive is handled courtesy of the gas engine, and the rear wheels are driven by a battery-powered electric motor.
Volvo seems to be still aiming for a mid-2019 production date from its production facility in Chengdu, China, so use that to set your expectations for when delivery might occur if you’re going to go ahead and lock one of these up.