Volvo’s electrified car sub-brand finally has a product ready to launch; and we got our first drive in the 2021 Polestar 1 along the Pacific coast near San Francisco, California.

Polestar 1 is a plug-in hybrid luxury performance coupe, utilizing two electric motors driving the rear wheels individually, along with a 326-horsepower turbo- and supercharged inline 4 gas engine coupled to another, crank-mounted, electric motor.

Total system output of 619-horsepower puts the Polestar 1 in some pretty elite company. While EPA numbers are not yet final, with a 34 KwH battery on board, we expect an electric-only range of more than 70 miles, so far more than is typical for a European PHEV.

All that hardware lives inside a beautiful carbon fiber body, grafted to a platform derived from the Volvo S90 sedan.  The look draws heavily from Volvo’s 2013 Coupe concept, with the same sharp lines and perfect proportions.

The interior look says Volvo too… meaning upscale, uncluttered and ergonomic.

Inspired by Volvo’s factory racing team… performance is a big element. Brakes are from Akebono, and all four corners are rocking Ohlins adjustable dampers. We pushed it hard through twisty, hilly roads and the Polestar 1 never broke a sweat. 

“The Polestar 1 really defied my expectations. A lot of luxury performance cars have too much of the first and not enough of the second. But this strikes a great balance: driving through these tight corners with uneven surfaces, the car never loses composure.. it’s nimble, it’s agile, it goes where you point it.  It’s kind of at odds that a car this competent should be this comfortable.” 

Only 1,500 Polestar 1’s over 3-years… and of those… 450 are destined for the U.S.  The price starts at $155,000, but the first year’s run is already spoken for.



  • Price: Starts at $155,000
  • Horsepower: 619