2019 Polestar 1 Convertible
Would a convertible version of the 1 sports coupe be a good idea?by Kirby Garlitos, on
The debut of the Polestar 1 turned a lot of heads for the right reasons. It was as impressive a first offering for Volvo’s newly-minted performance stand-alone brand, and like most cars with a lot of anticipation surrounding them, the thought of different body styles for the Polestar 1 has begun to take shape. We’ve already seen renders for a shooting brake-style Polestar 1, but what I’m really looking forward to seeing - if it ends up getting here - is a convertible version. There’s no guarantee that Polestar is going to appease our calls for one, but I think it’s a good idea, in large part because we haven’t seen a convertible from the Swedish automaker since the C70 ended production in 2013.
Ok, so it’s only been four years, but a lot has happened in those four years, especially as it pertains to Volvo. Back then, the company had only been a few years into being under Geely ownership, so it was still in the process of reinventing itself. Fast forward to 2017 and Volvo is in much better shape now to the point that its former performance division, Polestar, has been turned into a stand-alone performance brand with one model - the Polestar One - that’s already on the way. There’s no guarantee that a convertible will follow after because the company has already laid out plans for its second (a Tesla Model 3 rival) and third (an electric SUV) models. Fingers crossed we see one in the future, though, because the way the Polestar 1 looks right now, it would be very interesting to see if it somehow lost its hardtop and got a soft one instead.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Polestar 1 Convertible
2019 Polestar 1 Convertible
Horsepower @ RPM:600
Torque @ RPM:738
Top Speed:155 mph
- Soft top roof
- Muscular side profile
- Heavy Polestar 1 inspiration
Note: Polestar 1 Coupe pictured here.
There’s simply no reason for Polestar to veer away from it given the impressive grand tourer styling of the coupe
This is all speculation so forgive me if my imagination goes a little haywire in piecing together how I’d like the Polestar 1 Convertible to look. Off the bat, I will say that I’m not opposed to the convertible retaining most of the aesthetics as its coupe counterpart. There’s simply no reason for Polestar to veer away from it given the impressive grand tourer styling of the coupe. I’m especially particular with the front end design of the car to the point that I probably wouldn’t touch it at all. Sure, the similarities are there with Volvo’s models, namely the S90 sedan, but I don’t care. It’s one of those things wherein the saying “don’t mess with a good thing” applies. The set-up of the headlights is top-class with the T-like LEDs separating the upper and lower portions of the entire lighting fixture. That design element has been one of my favorite things about Volvo’s new design language, and it’s cool to see that Polestar adopted it too. I’d even go so far as use it on a convertible version of the 1 because it actually looks better on a convertible. Same thing with the large intakes and those sweet-looking aero blades.
Move to the side profile, and I’d like to see a more robust-looking aesthetic than the coupe version. Remember, the Polestar 1 Convertible’s biggest calling card will be its roofless look, so there’s no point to the car getting an aggressive roofline. In this case, the shoulder and body lines, as well as the wheel arches, will be the biggest factors in creating a dynamic profile. I’d be a little more aggressive in those departments, particularly the lines that run across the length of the body. Don’t make it too rigid because it could end with the 1 Convertible looking a little too boxy. Throw in some nice curves and find a way for these lines to seamlessly integrate themselves into the flared wheel arches, and you could have something special here. If Polestar can do this, the 1 Convertible could turn itself into a full-fledged threat in its own segment.
- Sporting touches
- Carbon fiber trim
- Polished aluminum
Note: Polestar 1 Coupe pictured here.
With a convertible, I think Polestar will have to dial up the sportiness a little bit more, even if it comes at the expense of toning down the luxury
This is where I venture a little bit off from the interior design of the Polestar 1 Coupe. I’m not saying that the convertible wouldn’t look good carrying the same design architecture as its coupe counterpart, but it wouldn’t have the same feel to it. Hear me out for a second. The interior design of the Polestar 1 Coupe has a luxury feel to it. That’s a good thing because that ties into the persona of the car as a performance luxury coupe. With a convertible, I think Polestar will have to dial up the sportiness a little bit more, even if it comes at the expense of toning down the luxury. That would fit into the personality of a convertible, which, let’s face it, is often bought by customers specifically for the purpose of impressing people with the car’s sporting looks and performance qualities.
I wouldn’t be opposed to the convertible getting its share of polished metal and carbon fiber trim because those two elements work well in just about any kind of design setting.
I’d also keep the digital screen in the center stack and the whole controls and configuration that come with. It’s the use of fine leather that I’m looking at cutting back on. I think the convertible version of the Polestar 1 would be much better off if the interior was dressed up with the kind of leather that can withstand the elements, especially when the roof is down and the car is blasting along a scenic mountainside road. Bespoke leather, as awesome as it is from a stylistic point of view, will be difficult to maintain. So instead of using that, I’d like to think that the Polestar will adopt a more functional approach in designing the cabin of the Polestar 1 Convertible.
- Hybrid electric powertrain
- 600 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque
- Different driving modes
Note: Polestar 1 Coupe pictured here.
Anything less than the 600-horsepower and 738-pound-feet of torque out of the Polestar 1 Coupe will be a disappointment
This section is the easiest one to predict because I don’t see any reason for Polestar to veer away from the hybrid electric-gasoline powertrain that’s already sitting under the hood of the Polestar 1 Coupe. In fact, I wouldn’t do anything past maybe adjusting the power and performance figures for the 1 Convertible to make it perform like a proper performance convertible. Ultimately though, I’m perfectly fine with the idea of using the same drivetrain set-up on the convertible version.
That would mean the Polestar 1 Convertible making use of something akin to a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that’s both turbocharged and supercharged to go along with the usual hybrid step of electric motors on all four wheels to go with a more potent lithium-ion battery pack that will essentially be tasked to feed the energy requirements of those electric motors.
As far as output is concerned, anything less than the 600-horsepower and 738-pound-feet of torque out of the Polestar 1 Coupe will be a disappointment. Power should sit around that number, maybe even a little higher, in order for the Polestar 1 Convertible to completely differentiate itself from its coupe counterpart. That should be one of Polestar’s main focus because any other scenario could lead to people thinking of the Polestar 1 Convertible as nothing more than a roof-less version of the grand tourer.
Since the Polestar 1 Convertible is nothing more than a figment of our imagination for the time being, determining a price point could be tricky, especially with the actual Polestar 1 Coupe’s price pegged at an incredible $177,000. It’s too hard to say how much a convertible is going to cost, but since they’re traditionally more expensive than their coupe counterparts, I’d say that the Polestar 1 Convertible could fetch costs amounting to around $180,000, supposing that you don’t avail of the subscription offer that the company is offering.
I suppose that if Polestar did roll out a 1 Convertible, it would theoretically enter a market occupied by the likes of the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet. It’s admittedly tricky to line up these two models opposite each other because at their respective roots, they’re two different models themselves. They do have some similarities being convertibles and all, but the likely difference in powertrain set-up could mean that we’re looking at two distinct performance times. Never mind the fact that the Polestar 1 Cabriolet isn’t even a sure thing yet.
That said, if Polestar wants the 1 Convertible to be as successful as it hopes, it’s going to have to take customers away from picking a car like the E-Class Cabriolet, or in this case the AMG E 63 Cabriolet. It’s easier said than done given that the Merc has enough power on its side to make a statement - 550 ponies form a 4.0-liter V-8 - and most importantly, it has the heritage over the Polestar. Whereas the new performance brand is still trying to establish its identity and experience in this competitive segment, AMG already has decades of them under its belt.
Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet.
Would it be too early to hope that Polestar moves forward with a soft-top convertible version of the 1? I certainly hope so though I do understand that there are far bigger and more important priorities on the table. We already have an idea about the company’s plans for the Polestar 2 and Polestar 3 models. The two will slot in the mid-size segment and, according to its Polestar, “will join the competition around the Tesla Model 3.” Then there’s the 3, which is being prepared to come in the mold of a large SUV. Those two models are the two priorities at the moment so if Polestar does decide to bring out a convertible version of the 1; it might have to wait in line for quite some time since the 2 and 3 will most likely come out first, possibly around 2020 and 2021, respectively. Still, if patience is a virtue, then I’m going to drown in it if it means seeing the Polestar 1 Convertible come to life. There’s a lot of potential that Volvo’s new standalone performance brand should consider, even if it’s a few years from now. We can wait, or at least I can.
Read our full review on the 2018 Polestar 1.