- Create one of the most beautiful cars ever: check.
- Build a Prototype: check.
- Test drive: check.
Now let's crash it!
Polestar, being a true Volvo Group brand, are of course obsessed with safety. They have now come to the stage of development where it's time to start a series of crash tests. The Polestar 1 is in fact the first car the Volvo aka Polestar has taken to assess the strength of a carbon fibre reinforced polymer body in a real crash situation. The crash test was conducted at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden, where cars and other vehicles are crash-tested in a large number of real world simulations.
“We were really excited about this crash test. The first crash test of Polestar 1 has been about exploring the unknown,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer at Polestar and one of the top ten people I'd like to have a beer with. “This was a crucial proof point in the development of Polestar 1; we had to know that the ideas and calculations that have gone into building this car were right – and they were.”
While a steel body would bend to help the integrated crumple zones with reducing the amount of crash energy that reaches the vehicle’s occupants, carbon fibre dissipates energy by cracking and shattering. So close attention was given to the way the carbon fibre body reacted to the extreme forces involved in the impact.
The Polestar 1 verification prototype, part of the first Polestar 1 build series, was propelled into a stationary barrier at 56 km/h, simulating a frontal collision.
Zef van der Putten, responsible for carbon fibre at Polestar, comments: “The outcome of this first crash test validates the decision to build the body of Polestar 1 in carbon fibre. It also confirms that carbon fibre supports the highest safety standards. This is an example of how Polestar spearheads the development of new technology in the Volvo Car Group.”
It hurts to see a beautiful car getting smashed but it's super interesting as well and I would really like to see such a test in person some day!
As carbon fibre gets used more commonly, it may get cheaper over time and will be used also in "normal" everyday cars. So I think we could see a carbon fibre Volvo in the future, would be nice.
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