Wind of Change
The Polestar 1 takes the wind test...
...or more specifically, takes on a three-ton fan in a steel tunnel measuring 11 m in diameter and 163 m in length with loads of steam and liquid nitrogen smoke.
Innumerable six-hour shifts and 24 hours of computer simulations were done to fully wind test the Polestar, all to see how it performs according to seven different criteria: contamination, aerodynamics, thermodynamics, climate comfort, energy efficiency, and internal environment. These criteria measure everything to do with wind, whether it’s the potential emissions caused by the material used to make the car’s interior, to the combination of rolling and air resistance which the car must overcome to, well move forward ultimately.
There are numerous design touches that influence the aerodynamics of the Polestar 1, the most distinctive of which is the active rear spoiler - not exactly GT2 sized, but it still has its positive effects. Deploying automatically once the car reaches 100 km/h, and retracting when the car goes below 70 km/h, the rear spoiler is meant to optimise the Polestar 1’s performance by creating downforce on the rear axle, and like all other exterior components of the car one that needs to be tested during these wind tunnel procedures.
Another design feature that needs to be accounted for are the lower outer grilles. Placed in deep recesses in the lower front of the car, these grilles can be opened and closed in order to efficiently cool the batteries and other electrical components.
Altogether the combination of the many aerodynamically-driven design elements of the Polestar 1 help it to reach an electric-only range of 150 km.
Good aerodynamics and low air resistance are even more important for electric cars than for combustion engined ones because overall you have significantly less energy available. That means efficiency in air resistance is key for range. The Polestar 1 isn't a fully electric car like the upcoming Polestar models, but also with a hybrid drivetrain you want to maximize efficiency of course, to enlarge the electric range as much as possible.
But the wind tunnel does not provide all the conditions required for wind testing, so from there the Polestar 1 will make its way to the baking deserts of Arizona for further testing. The wind tunnel test of the Polestar 1 was completed successfully, but it takes more than wind to wind test a car.
Walls, even more hardcore than wind: