December 6, 2021

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Polestar will be as different from Volvo as Audi is from Mercedes

Polestar will be as different from Volvo as Audi is from Mercedes

Polestar is constantly taking small steps away from Volvo. Polestar 2 and Volvo XC40 are actually the same car with different looks. In a few years, Polestar cars will pretty much have their own identity – both in technology and design.

Polestar’s Precept concept car is a case in point. It will likely be the fifth model in the series, and will likely be called the Polestar 5 when it arrives in 2024.

The Precept was first revealed as a concept car in 2020, and in September last year it became clear that The car manufacturer decided to develop it into a production model.

Performance and battery size are not known yet. We also don’t know how close the Precept’s design is to the Polestar 5, but it won’t be quite the same.

Polestar brought the car to Lillestrøm this week, where President of Polestar Thomas Ingenlath The concept car was presented to participants at the Nordic EV Summit.

Here he said, among other things, that the car’s front spoiler wouldn’t come on the Model V, and that the production version would have B-pillars, which the concept car lacks.

low profile sports car



The Precept is a car in the sports car category, not a traditional sedan. The car is low and you are sitting low. Ingenlath describes it as sitting in a Porsche 911.

This presents a challenge, because there is no electric car platform at Volvo or at parent company Geely that makes it possible to position the battery in such a way that you actually sit low.

Thus, Polestar has invested itself in the architecture that makes this possible. In this way, the car will be unique to Polestar. But of course it is not unreasonable for the platform to be used by others in the Geely group.

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Volvo does not have sports cars in its portfolio, and with the company’s focus on safety, such a product does not fit either. Polestar has its roots in Volvo, and the newcomer is still developing its brand.

Polestar’s first car, the Polestar 1 hybrid, was practically a concept for Volvo, and Ingenlath says he fears people won’t quite understand where Polestar will end up with its next models in the next few years.


On this front, we’ll see more Polestar models in the coming years, says Thomas Ingenlath, Director of Polestar. Photo: Marius Valli

The new Polestar front

The principle shows how far Polestar has departed from Volvo’s roots, Ingenlath believes. The car has an all-new front end, which will define the expression of Polestar’s design moving forward. Polestar’s next model, the SUV Polestar 3, will have the same front end styling as the Precept.

The roots are not completely erased. Volvo’s “Thor’s hammer” headlight design is on Polestar.

The front of the Precept contains what Ingenlath calls a “smart zone,” where all the sensors for the driver support systems are integrated. All of these sensors are built into the same enclosed unit. Up front, the Precept has a spoiler over the top of the front, ensuring improved aerodynamics. This will come in Polestar 3, but for the production version of the Precept, it’s not necessary, and therefore won’t come in the final design.

Otherwise, Polestar opted for a long front in the car. Although not actually necessary on an electric car, it does give a premium look and storage space under the hood. It also ensures that the car has a large deformation area in the front, which is important for safety.


The Polestar principle outlined in Lillestrøm.
Polestar believes that lidar provides the best way for self-driving cars. The sensor is in front of the car roof. Photo: Marius Valli


Believe in suffering

At the top of the roof, right next to the windshield, the manufacturer placed Lidar. Not only in regards to autonomous driving in the future, but also because it offers better safety functions, according to Ingenlath.

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– It’s such a big disagreement. Tesla thinks they should move to autonomy without using lidar, which is a very expensive technology, but we’re convinced it adds so much information and insight that we definitely don’t want to miss out on the opportunities and benefits you get with this modern device.

The cover on the Precept was developed by American Luminar and, according to Ingenlath, should be able to see 300 meters ahead. He believes that Polestar has this system ready to bring it to market sometime in 2023, and that it will appear in Polestar 3.

This will make it possible for real self-driving on the highway, and the head of Polestar imagines a scenario where you can sit and read a book while driving the same car.


The Polestar principle outlined in Lillestrøm.
The car does not have a rear window. It gives greater freedom to design and function, explains Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. Photo: Marius Valli

No back window gives more freedom

Ingenlath also pulled the back of the car. The Car It has no back window. Instead, they chose to go to the camera. This is not only because they look great, but because it gives them more freedom to give the car the desired look and function.

When installing a rear window, the chassis must be reinforced with poles, which will save an area in which it is difficult to work. Ingenlath says you then have to choose between headroom in the back seat or a functional luggage compartment. By dropping the entire rear window, they can have both.

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So by taking out the window and replacing the mirror with a camera, they get what he calls a good package that works both aesthetically and functionally.

Ingenlath is also concerned with the use of sustainable materials in the vehicle’s interior. Here both vegetable products and recycled plastic have been used. Ingenlath explains that Polestar has invested a lot of research and development in this matter.

The interior design revolves around the screens in the car. Ingenlath explains that this is also the trend in interior design in the automotive industry. Working with materials is important in and of itself, but when you turn on the screen, the focus is on it, and “where your brand appears,” he says. The shape of the dashboard becomes almost irrelevant after that.

Therefore, they spent a lot of time developing Android at Polestar, and continue to do so in their upcoming cars.

Different from Volvo like Mercedes like Audi

It is known that the Polestar 3 will be built on the same platform as the upcoming electric Volvo XC90. Ingenlath promises their next car isn’t Volvo with a new logo. It will be very different.


The Polestar principle outlined in Lillestrøm.
The Polestar principle outlined in Lillestrøm. Photo: Marius Valli

“I’m not concerned about thinking there are two Swedish car brands that can build two different-sized SUVs that are designed and target two completely different consumer groups,” he says.

From the image shown so far – with the Polestar 3 under its hood – it appears to have a coupe-like SUV profile.

– Volvo and Polestar will be as different as Audi and Mercedes. Some trends in the automotive industry, such as aerodynamic shapes, have become prevalent. Electric vehicle technology requires aerodynamic design. It’s an ongoing design trend, for good reason. But in it you have different characteristics and your family members. I’ve been designing Volvo for a long time and know very well what you can and should do in a Volvo environment, what you should not do and what Volvo will be against. A car with character and sporty behavior is clearly something you cannot do in a Volvo environment.