Volvo unveils Polestar 1 and new subscription service

Volvo recently unveiled future models based on the performance Polestar brand, including the brand-new Polestar 1 coupe along with two other models.

“This is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet. A beautiful GT with amazing technology packed into it – a great start for our new brand,” said Thomas Ingenlath, chief executive officer of Polestar. “All future cars from [us] will feature a fully-electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand.”

Volvo had previously announced that all their vehicles will be hybrid or fully electric vehicles starting in 2018. The other models in the new lineup will be fully-electric vehicles, with only the halo model offering any kind of non-electric power.

The Polestar 1 will be a 600-hp grand touring coupe with an electric performance hybrid powertrain system supported by an internal combustion engine. Volvo is expecting the range of the Polestar 1 to be around 90 miles and cost up to $177,000.

“All future cars from Polestar will be Electric Performance Vehicles but the Polestar 1 bridges today’s technology with the future, offering the perfect drivetrain for a Grand Touring Coupe that’s likely to be used over longer distances as well as shorter, faster, enjoyable journeys,” Ingenlath said.

The Polestar 2 will be a fully battery-electric vehicle, the first of its kind from Volvo, and is slated to start production in 2019. A larger model, the Polestar 3, will be released later (at an unspecified date).

However, it’s new “sales” model may leave customers scratching their heads.

Volvo introduced their “Care by Volvo” subscription model (only means of consumer access) instead of a traditional ownership model. For a flat rate, cars can be ordered online and will be offered with a two- or three-year subscription for that vehicle. Access through the subscription service offers pick-up and delivery of vehicles, and the ability to rent other Volvo models as needed.

One will not be able to outright own one of these Volvos.

Having a one-price subscription service also negates negotiation of pricing, like leasing or purchasing allows for. At the end of the subscription period, consumers will have the option to re-subscribe to the same vehicle or upgrade to another one without ever stepping inside a dealership showroom.

“Our vision is that the subscription model and services that we will offer will define the brand as much as our cars will,” said Jonathan Goodman, Chief Operating Officer of Polestar. “Services that exceed the needs, desires and expectations of the premium performance car customer, removing the inconvenience of ownership and allowing customers to purely concentrate on the pleasure of driving a Polestar car.”

All ordering and configuring of subscribed to cars will be done via a new app or the online portal.

Subscription car services are nothing new, though, as younger consumers in metro areas have already proven the worth of subscription car services with their purchasing power. Book by Cadillac is another dealership alternative, while Car2Go and ReachNow have offered a look into the success of non-traditional car uses.