Volvo's Polestart is having a smashing time

Jon Lawson

Volvo’s Polestar division is having a smashing time ensuring the first model will be up to scratch

Volvo’s Polestar 1 project is nearing the end of its testing phase. The vehicle is currently undergoing on-road testing before going into production at the soon-to-be-completed Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China early in 2019.

It is curently having its torque vectoring system fine tuned, along with chassis and handling tests.

Polestar’s chief test driver, Joakim Rydholm is a 22 year veteran of chassis development. He said: “Whenever you drive Polestar 1, you should immediately feel like you are in control and that the car is ready to respond to your input, no matter what you want to do. This is a GT that needs to be easy to drive and comfortable in everyday use with its smooth and quiet hybrid drivetrain – but also ready to deliver its thrilling 600hp and 1,000 Nm performance whenever the driver wants it.”

Volvo is making a grand claim about range: 150km in electric-only guise. This no doubt will be helped by the use a new material for Volvo bodies – carbon fibre.

To test structural integrity, a full crash test was commissioned, smashing a prototype into a stationary barrier at 56 km/h, simulating a frontal collision at Volvo Cars Safety Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer at Polestar commented, “We were really excited about this crash test. The first crash test of Polestar 1 has been about exploring the unknown. This was a crucial proof point in the development; we had to know that the ideas and calculations that have gone into building this car were right – and they were.”

The engineers were interested in how the material would react, as well as the steel frame supporting it. Zef van der Putten, responsible for carbon fibre observed, “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.”



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