The $157,000 Polestar 1 is a spectacular insight into what Volvo's new brand can achieve. It's also the best car China has ever built
- The Polestar 1 is a 619-horsepower, high-performance, high-priced, gas-hybrid grand-touring car that's the first vehicle from Volvo's new stand-alone brand.
- The Polestar 1 was imagined in Sweden but built at a new factory in China under Geely, Volvo's owner of a decade.
- The Polestar 1 is a stunning debut - the best car China has ever produced and a immediate rival for some of the world's biggest names, from Porsche to Mercedes to Audi to even Ferrari and Lamborghini.
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Volvo's revival under Chinese ownership has been impressive.
Geely, the Swedish automaker's parent company bought it from Ford in 2009, just as the financial crisis was starting to bite.
We've already seen a new spate of Volvo SUVs and made-in-China sedans - plus a brand-new manufacturing plant in South Carolina. But most intriguing was the establishment in 2017 of the Polestar brand as a stand-alone manufacturer, tasked with carrying the electric-vehicle banner for the Sino-Swedish nameplate.
After a bit of a wait, I finally got a chance to grab some seat time in the first official Polestar product, the aptly named Polestar 1.
Polestar 1 is a bridge to the forthcoming, all-electric Polestar 2. For now, we'll have to subsist on a Polestar diet of a turbocharged-and-supercharged gas engine mated to a pair of electric motors driving the rear wheels.
It's a potent combination, and I was prepared to be impressed. I just wasn't prepared for how impressed: