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Volvo's Polestar: powerhouse plug-in hybrid

  • Magazine Article
  • 20AUTP02_14
Published January 01, 2020 by SAE International in United States
  • English

You don't get a second chance to make a first impression. That's why Polestar, Volvo's new electric performance subsidiary, used its first vehicle as a rolling showcase of the brand's technology. We took the $156,500, 600-plus-horse-power plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Polestar 1 coupe on a 110-mi (177-km) drive in California, where Axle Stenberg, technical concept leader, summarized the Polestar 1's extraordinary recipe.

“First you take an SPA car,” he said, referring to Volvo's Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), the platform underpinning the XC90, XC60 and S90. “Now you add the biggest combustion engine we had.” That means a supercharged/turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder mill that produces 326 hp (243 kW) and 384 lb-ft (521 Nm). The internal-combustion power is distributed strictly to the front axle via an 8-speed automatic gearbox. “Then we added as much battery as we could fit.”