2021 Polestar 1, First Impressions
Look out, the Sweeds are coming back with a vengeance
A few days ago, somebody showed me a picture of the new Maserati supercar thing, and I didn't know what it was.
That's because, for the past decade or so, automakers have found ways to maximize efficiency, profits, and sales. So much so that just about every new performance car has either a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, or some variation of a turbo-six-cylinder.
And when I look at that Maserati, all I can think of is how much I don't care. I can quite easily guess that it has an 8-speed auto box, because that's most efficient. And unless the Italian's have had their way (which they haven't), it'll be powered by a twin-turbo V-something.
Which makes it all the more surprising that I should care about the new Polestar 1.
Because, on the surface, it's everything I hate.
It's got a hybrid 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine out of a Volvo XC40, which is turbocharged and supercharged. It likely weighs more than the Notre Damn cathedral, and yet, I think it's safe to say that this is one of my favorite cars of the past five years.
Well, it's quite hard to say.
Yet, this 620-horsepower lump of Swedish Carbon Fiber is strangely appealing to me. It has character. I love the fact that the engineers said "screw it!" And decided to add a hybrid system, turbochargers, and a supercharger, because why not?!
I remember reading the press release about this thing when it first came out and thinking, "these guys are f*cking nuts!"
I mean, the sheer fact that Volvo decided to launch their new all-electric brand with a $155,000 hybrid super-GT is crazy enough.
But to then to say that only 1,500 will ever be built only adds to the mystique.
So you might imagine that when Polestar sent me an email asking if I'd like to spend a bit of time with the "1," I instantly replied, "YES!"
I was provided with an address and a promise of coffee and some time with the car.
I arrived at the midtown pop-up showroom and was instantly met by a woman from the PR department who showed me around a black Polestar 1.
The black color they showed it in wasn't exactly its favorite flavor, but I won't complain, because this is easily the most beautiful car I've seen all year.
This car has the golden-ratio two-thirds thing all over the place, and it's flat aesthetic only embellishes its beautiful dimensions.
The interior should be familiar to anyone who's spent more than five minutes in a Volvo. That's because, for all intents in purposes, it's the same.
Sure, you've got some fancy stitching and materials, but the aesthetics and switchgear are clearly the same. And while ordinarily, parts-picking is a bad thing, I don't mind it here, because incidentally, Volvo's interiors are second only to Rolls Royce.
This car has real elegance, and everybody who walked past this thing stared through the locked showroom doors with astonishment. This car makes people happy. It has just the right mix of theatrics (just look at that trunk,) beauty, elegance, lunacy, and speed to make it a true super-GT.
And for that, I love it.