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2021 Polestar 1 PHEV Coupe Review: Expected Prices, Release Date, MPG, And Performance

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John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist

August 26, 2020 at 09:03 AM

Launched as a performance-oriented car by Volvo’s only performance division, the Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid was offered as a highly sophisticated product and attracted a number of eyeballs when the company announced the product. The car had a limited number of units that went on sale and the brand is now planning to launch the 2021 model in the market. Just like before, the car is expected to get a luxurious and premium cabin and in addition to this, will also be one of the best vehicles in the segment in terms of ride and handling.

Just like the 2020 model, we expect the 2021 Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid to be an extremely capable vehicle that is not just fun to drive but is also powerful and frugal and should offer a reliable mechanical setup. The car gets an aggressive and very sporty looking exterior design and looks very bold, especially from the front. Once launched, the 2021 Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid will lock its horns with its rivals such as Tesla Model S, Lexus LS500h, and Porsche Taycan Turbo.

The 2021 Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid is also expected to get an extensive feature list and several modern Gizmos which makes it a terrific package against its rivals. The car comes with powerful engines, reliable components, and great build quality. The cabin is well built and the prices are reasonable as well. In terms of straight-line acceleration, the Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid performs brilliantly well. The 2020 Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid is priced at $156,500 and we expect a marginal increase in the overall pricing of the car with the 2021 update. With this being said, how well is the car? Let’s find out.

What’s new with the 2021 Polestar 1 PHEV?

While the 2020 Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid was the first car to be introduced in Volvo’s new standalone performance brand, we expect the 2021 model to remain largely similar to the outgoing model. However, we do expect some small designing tweaks to be made to 2021 Polestar 1. Once launched, the car will boast an impressive design language and a highly powerful and capable powertrain. The cabin of the Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid additionally will be highly comfortable, luxurious, and comes with almost all the features that one could think of.

What’s the expected price and release date of the 2021 Polestar 1 PHEV Coupe?

The Polestar 1 will be launched in the market by the end of 2020 or in the early months of the year 2021. The launch of the car was delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and may also get delayed even further. The starting price of the car will be around $156,500 for the base variant.

What to expect in the engine department of the 2021 Polestar 1 PHEV Coupe?

The 2020 Polestar 1 is powered by a 2.0-L i4, twin motor setup which has a combined output of 619 hp and 738 b-ft of peak torque. This engine comes mated to an 8-Speed AT which is supremely fast with its shifts. The 2021 model also gets the same engine-gearbox combination. The engine feels very responsive and feels very refined. The NVH levels are well contained and inside the cabin, engine sound is barely audible until pushed hard. A sporty thrum is audible inside the cabin when the car is pushed hard. The power delivery is linear and early availability of peak power and torque makes it driving in the city an easy affair.

Low-end power delivery is extremely good, all thanks to the electric motors which deliver maximum torque right from the start. The gearbox offers quick shifts and helps the driver extract the most power from the engine. The car will feel at home in the city, due to its good drivability, and out on the highway too, the engine doesn’t feel subdued and can cruise at triple-digit speeds all day long.

Model

2021 Polestar 1 Plug-in Hybrid (expected)

2020 Tesla Model S Performance

2020 Lexus LS 500h Hybrid

2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo

MSRP

$156,500

$89,750

$79,510

$152,250

Engine

2.0L Twin-Turbo Supercharged 4-cylinder engine with 3 AC motors and 34 kWh Battery Pack

Dual Induction Electric Motors with 100 kWh Battery Pack

3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 with 2 Electric Motors

Two Permanent - Magnet Synchronous Motors with 93.4 kWh Battery Pack

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

RWD

AWD

Transmission

8-Speed Automatic

1-Speed Direct Shift

CVT

2-Speed Automatic

Power

619 hp @ 6200 RPM

824 hp @ 6100 RPM

354 hp @ 6600 RPM

671 hp @ 5900 RPM

Torque

738 lb-ft @ 4200 RPM

737 lb-ft @ 0 RPM

257 lb-ft @ 4900 RPM

627 lb-ft @ 0 RPM

0-60 MPH 

3.8 secs

2.3 secs

5.1 secs

2.4 secs

Quarter-Mile

12.7 secs

10.4 secs

13.5 secs

10.5 secs

If the performance figures are taken into consideration, the Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid may not be the fastest vehicle in the segment but offers great driving dynamics. The powerful setup of the Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid helps it reach 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.2 secs. The top speed of the car is restricted at 155 MPH.

As is evident from the table, the 2021 Tesla Model S is one of the fastest in the segment while the Polestar 1 is almost 1.5 secs slower than the Model S.

How does the 2021 Polestar 1 PHEV Coupe handle?

The 2021 Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid, just like the 2020 model, will feature a performance-oriented setup that comes with a great ride and handling combination, however, it is towards the stiffer side. The overall suspension setup is not very stiff and feels comfortable on the badly patched up surfaces. The car stays planted at higher speeds and there no significant vertical movements due to slight imperfections on the road. Overall, the suspension is biased towards performance. The suspension does its job silently and sitting inside, one car barely hears the suspension thud over the large potholes.

Moreover, be it slow speeds or high, triple-digit speeds, the Polestar 1 Plug-In-hybrid remains very stable and comfortable. The cars feel extremely stable and agile at the corners and the overall experience is better than its competition. Considering the size of the car, the body roll is almost negligible and the car holds on to its line when pushed hard into a corner. Overall, the Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid is one of the best cars in the segment in terms of ride and handling balance.

How many miles to the gallon will the 2021 Polestar 1 PHEV Coupe deliver?

The fuel economy figure of the 2020 Polestar 1 Plug-in-hybrid stands at 26 miles per gallon for combined usage, which is decent considering the segment standards. It is worth noting the fact that this car can do 52 miles in all-electric mode. The 2021 model of the car is expected to deliver similar figures. A detailed analysis of fuel efficiency is as follows:

Models

2021 Polestar 1 Plug-in Hybrid (expected)

2020 Tesla Model S Performance

2020 Lexus LS 500h Hybrid

2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo

MPG (City)

N / A

102

25

92

MPG (Highway)

N / A

107

33

105

MPG (Combined)

64/26(Gas only)

104

28

98

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

13.2

N / A

22.0

N / A

Range (City/Highway/Combined) (mi)

60(EV)/343(Gas & Electric)

370

555 / 732.6 / 621.6

225

Since the Porsche and the Tesla are EVs, the only real rival in the fuel economy department is the Hybrid Lexus LC500h. The fuel economy figures might not be out for the Polestar but judging by the hardware, the Polestar should manage better overall fuel economy since it got a smaller 2.0L Internal Combustion unit as opposed to Lexus’ 3.5L V6.

What to expect from the 2021 Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid interior?

The 2021 Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid is expected to get a comfortable, practical, and a luxurious cabin. The plastics used inside the cabin of the 2020 model are of supreme quality and feel very luxurious and soft to touch and we expect the 2021 model to feature similar standards. At the front, the seats are comfortable and the seats provide the right amount of cushioning to its passengers. 

Ingress and egress from the car are easy because of the high stance and overall, the interiors are decent. It is worth noting that comparing it to the rivals, the Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid gets better practicality as there are several storage spaces inside the cabin in addition to the functional arrangement of elements inside the cabin.

Models

2021 Polestar 1 Plug-in Hybrid (expected)

2020 Tesla Model S Performance

2020 Lexus LS 500h Hybrid

2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo

Seating Capacity

4

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg)(in)

N/A

38.8/57.7/42.7

37.3/58.8/41.0

N / A

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg)(in)

N/A

35.3/55.0/35.4

37.3/56.4/38.9

N / A

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft.)

4.4

30

15.1

15.7

However, it is the Model S which boasts maximum trunk space and cabin space. The 2021 Polestar 1 is expected to remain similar to the outgoing model which makes it the least practical out of the lot.

2021 Polestar 1 PHEV: Infotainment System and Connectivity

The 2021 Polestar 1, when compared to the outgoing model, will get a similar features list. The car will be extremely featured rich and full of modern gizmos. The 2020 model gets a vertically oriented screen which is angled towards the driver. This touchscreen infotainment system gets Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, USB connectivity, and Bluetooth connectivity. 

In addition to this, the car also gets Bowers and Wilkins audio system. A smartphone can be connected to the car to be used as a key using Polestar connect. A driver’s heads-up-display helps the driver know about vehicle speed and audio track information.

Will there be any changes to the exterior of the 2021 Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid?

The Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid comes with a handsome design with a bold and aggressive-looking front which gives it the best road presence in the segment. The side profile is smooth and sharp while the rear looks elegant and classy.

When with a lack of quirky design language, the Polestar 1 Plug-In-Hybrid looks very appealing and it is its subtle yet sporty design language which makes it a distinctive character. Overall, the design is sporty, aggressive, yet looks very classy and elegant.

Models

2021 Polestar 1 Plug-in Hybrid (expected)

2020 Tesla Model S Performance

2020 Lexus LS 500h Hybrid

2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo

Curb Weight (lbs)

5170

4941

4850

4960

Length (in)

180.5

196.0

206.1

195.4

Width (in)

77.1

77.3

74.8

77.4

Height (in)

53.2

56.9

57.5

54.3

Ground Clearance (in)

5.6

4.6

6.5

N / A

Wheelbase (in)

107.9

116.5

123.0

114.2

In terms of dimensions, the 2020 Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid is smaller than most of its rivals. On the other hand, the road presence of the Polestar 1 Plug-in-hybrid is great and the car surely looks smarter than most of its rivals. While there will be no change that is expected to be made in 2021 in terms of overall dimensions, the brand may offer a more mature design language.

Will the 2021 Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid be worth my money and time?

Considering everything which has been discussed so far, the 2021 Polestar 1 Plug-in-Hybrid turns out to be a great choice in the segment. The car gets a great design language, comfortable and luxurious interiors, and a powerful engine gearbox combo. However, the car is extremely expensive and it is also worth noting the fact that there will be a limited number of units that will be up for the sale. With this being said, we do believe that Polestar 1 is a great product and will surely offer a bit of exclusivity if you decide to buy one soon.

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