Polestar, the electric car brand part of the Volvo Car Group, took the wraps off the Polestar 1 at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday. The hybrid coupe, the first in the company’s major line, features a number of headline features that will help it take on the likes of Tesla and Volkswagen for electric vehicle dominance.
“Electromobility is the main focus of today’s automotive industry, and Polestar is at the centre of this development, introducing world-class electrified cars and ground-breaking, customer-focused services and offers,” said Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar.
Perhaps one of the most interesting features of the first vehicle is the use of a smartphone as a key. Apps will be available for iOS and Android that allow users to enter the car even when their key is elsewhere. The company is also enabling users to pass access to third parties, allowing them access for repairs or any number of other reasons.
Polestar isn’t the first to offer a similar feature. The $35,000 Tesla Model 3, which debuted last summer, uses the phone’s Bluetooth signal to detect when they’re nearby. Tesla also offers a near-field communication card that unlocks the vehicle when pressed against the B-pillar, for those situations where the phone is out of juice.
Beyond key cards, Polestar is promising 93 miles of all-electric range from a 34 kilowatt-hour battery, the highest range of any hybrid car. The vehicle offers 600 horsepower and 1,000 Newton-meters of torque. The company is pitching the vehicle as offering the best of both worlds: clean electric range combined with the abundance of infrastructure provided for existing internal combustion vehicles.
Preorders for the Polestar 1 will begin on March 13 with a deposit of $3,082 (€2,500) in 18 launch markets, including the United States. Production is set to begin this summer, with initial plans to produce 500 cars per year. If all goes well, two more EVs will launch under the brand in the coming decade, with the third set to take on the Tesla Model X in the sports utility vehicle category.