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2020 Polestar 1: 7 Things We Like and 4 Things We Don’t

polestar 1 2020 3 exterior  front  white JPG 2020 Polestar 1 | photo by Brian Wong

The new 2020 Polestar 1 is the first car by Polestar, Volvo’s former performance division and now a brand of its own. But, this plug-in hybrid performance coupe is more than just the sum of its many Volvo parts.

Related: 2020 Polestar 1 Review: Polestar’s First Car Is a Triumph

It’ll be tough to get your hands on one of these — not just because of the $156,500 starting price (including destination charge), but also because Polestar is only releasing 500 of them in 2020. The Polestar 1 rivals other performance hybrids like the Acura NSX or BMW i8, but in terms of electric performance and sheer refinement, it puts up some stiff competition.

Been dreaming of the release of the Polestar 1 and want all the details? Click through the related link above for reviewer Brian Wong’s full take. If you just want the key points, here are all the things we like (and don’t) about the new 2020 Polestar 1:

Things We Like

1. Performance Power

The powertrain in the Polestar 1 combines a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a battery pack and electric motors that drive the rear wheels. The combined output of the hybrid system is a whopping 619 horsepower and 737 pounds-feet of torque. This is another level of power entirely when compared to Volvo’s T8 Polestar engineered models, like the V60, which put out 415 hp and 494 pounds-feet of torque.

polestar 1 2020 20 engine  exterior JPG 2020 Polestar 1 | photo by Brian Wong

2. Responsive Accelerator

Put your foot on the gas and this coupe responds instantly. A burst of torque comes from the rear electric motors and meets a wave of power coming from the gas engine at the front wheels. For an even more athletic feel, opt for the aggressive Power driving mode.

3. Adjustable Suspension

The non-adaptive suspension handles the car’s weight well. The Ohlins shock absorbers are adjustable to your liking, as is the suspension firmness. Crank the firmness all the way up for a sharper turn-in, or keep it low for ideal day-to-day driving.

4. Big Battery

A large battery gives the car an all-electric range up to 70 miles, which is likely enough for the average person’s commute. It also charges quickly — less than an hour on a 50-kilowatt DC quick charger.

polestar 1 2020 23 cockpit shot  interior JPG 2020 Polestar 1 | photo by Brian Wong

5. Fully Loaded

The Polestar 1 comes standard with all the safety, driver assistance and multimedia technology you would get in a Volvo. In fact, the only available option is a matte finish to the car’s five available paint colors, which adds another $5,000 to the price.

6. Carbon Fiber

Almost everything on this car is made out of lightweight carbon fiber: the body panels, hood, front fenders, doors and trunk, as well as some interior accents. Polestar says all of this carbon fiber saves 506 pounds and especially makes the top of the car lighter. This pushes the car’s center of gravity down, which makes for better balance and handling.

7. Familiar, Minimalist Styling

If you look past the Polestar logo, this car has Volvo written all over it, from the Thor’s hammer headlights to the uncluttered, streamlined dashboard. Additionally, it gets a full glass roof, and in the trunk, there’s a fun little window in which you can see some of the car’s electrical inner workings.

polestar 1 2020 43 backseat  interior JPG 2020 Polestar 1 | photo by Brian Wong

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Things We Don’t

1. It’s Pretty Heavy

Despite the abundance of carbon fiber, the coupe weighs about as much as an SUV: 5,170 pounds. All that weight consequently affects acceleration — Polestar estimates the 0-60-mph time at 4.2 seconds. That isn’t slow by any means, but it may seem so when compared with the Acura NSX’s 3.0-second 0-60 time.

polestar 1 2020 18 interior  trunk JPG 2020 Polestar 1 | photo by Brian Wong

2. Watch the Battery Level

On a fully charged battery, the car performs as described above … but once the battery level starts to drain below 50%, you may feel it start to lose its punch.

3. Lacks Braking Power

The regenerative braking blend in the Polestar 1 is relatively smooth, but not as powerful as you’d expect even if you hit them hard. Keep that in mind when taking corners; you’ll need to go slow or brake early.

4. Not a Lot of Cargo Space

The trunk only has 4.4 cubic feet of cargo space, so you’ll probably end up putting anything you need to tote around in the backseat. Space back there is also limited; you could fit an adult in the backseat if necessary, but it really is a better space for your grocery bags.

polestar 1 2020 10 angle  exterior  mountains  rear  white JPG 2020 Polestar 1 | photo by Brian Wong’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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