Volvo unveils first Polestar model, part of green auto push in China

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With experience as Volvo's performance arm, responsible for racing and souped-up road models like the XC90 and XC60 T8 Polestars, Polestar is now transitioning toward becoming an independent badge with its own lineup of electrified performance cars. Now, someone has chose to explore the idea of a dreamy convertible by chopping off the fixed metal roof.

Orders for the Polestar 1 can be taken now using the Polestar app.

Polestar 2 will start production later in 2019 and will be the first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) from the Volvo Car Group. The Polestar 3 will be a larger, SUV-style battery-electric vehicle. Volvo said it plans to launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2020, three under the namesake brand itself and two from Polestar. Polestar 3 will be an SUV-styled vehicle which will be priced between the Polestar 1 and Polestar 2 in terms of volumes and pricing.

Polestar's pioneering global monthly subscription initiative is the latest in a long line of alternative new auto buying options, stretching back decades.

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For example, China plans to set goals for electric and plug-in hybrid cars to make up at least a fifth of local sales by 2025, with a staggered system of quotas beginning in 2018.

Polestar's radical all-electric approach will be matched by an equally radical method of selling its cars.

The Polestar 1 is based upon Volvo's Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) but approximately 50 per cent is new and bespoke, created by Polestar's engineers. Polestar 1 is a two-door, 2+2 seat Grand Tourer Coupé with an "Electric Performance Hybrid" drivetrain. Production will begin in mid-2019 at a new dedicated plant in Chengdu. However, Polestar also recognises that customers still want to physically engage with the brand so Polestar will open a network of Polestar Spaces around the world.

The Polestar 1 will also form part of a new scheme which the manufacturer says will move away from the traditional model of vehicle ownership. A maximum of 500 cars will be built per year and all those will be offered on a subscription basis. Polestar will also provide additional services including concierge and on-demand services for customers at an added charge.