Polestar’s electric vehicles may still be a rare sight on roads, but the Polestar 1 luxury hybrid coupe looks likely to remain that way for good as the automaker announces it’s headed into its final year of production. Deliveries of the two-door only began in 2020, though the hybrid EV’s days were already numbered – quite literally – even before it started rolling off the production line.
That’s because Polestar only ever intended to build a very limited number of the Polestar 1, as much a halo for the new automaker as it hoped to make a splash in electrification as anything else. Based on the ahead-of-its-time Volvo Coupe concept, which the Swedish automaker – a co-owner of Polestar with Geely – opted not to turn into a production vehicle despite rave reviews in 2013, the Polestar 1 debuted in 2017, long before Polestar 2 production was expected to begin.
The luxury hybrid, then, served double duty, acting as both an attention-grabbing symbol of Polestar’s intent to combine electrification with performance, and as a stopgap for sales while the Polestar 2 project ramped up. Now, with Polestar 2 deliveries underway and the Polestar 3 electric crossover SUV on the not-too-distant horizon, the Polestar 1’s ride is coming to an end.
It was always an outlier in Polestar’s strategy. Combining a 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged gas engine at the front, with two electric motors on the rear axle, it delivered 619 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque in total. A 34 kWh battery enables an ell-electric range of around 60 miles, but Polestar publicly committed to making BEV-only vehicles after Polestar 1.
Despite all that, the coupe has remained hard not to love. Timeless exterior styling combined with a familiar – though well-constructed – Volvo interior still stand out now, years after the original concept car made its debut. On the road, meanwhile, the Polestar 1 is a legitimately engaging PHEV, using its twin rear electric motors for torque vectoring and helping, along the way, disguise the overall weight of its drivetrain.
Though unarguably a grand tourer, it can also be unexpectedly spritely, something Polestar’s lavish use of carbon fiber to keep overall weight reasonable can be credited with enabling.
Now, Polestar is opening up the order books for model year 2021, for the last remaining build slots. Priced at $155,000 – though with few options to pay extra for – it’ll take the final construction run to 1,500 in total. Each is made at Polestar’s exclusive Chengdu, China plant, unlike the Polestar 2 which is manufactured at Geely’s plant in Luqiao, China.
Production of the Polestar 1 is expected to complete by the end of the year, though you needn’t be too sad. The automaker has already confirmed that its equally-striking Precept all-electric luxury vehicle will be made into a production vehicle, giving Polestar a new halo that’s arguably more in keeping with its BEV-only strategy. That may have to wait until after the Polestar 3, however.