The Polestar 1 takes the rulebook for high-performance GT cars and simply obliterates it. Rather than using a big eight or twelve cylinder engine driving the rear or all four wheels, the 1 combines a high-output 2.0-litre petrol engine with a trio of electric motors to create a seriously rapid plug-in hybrid.
How rapid? Well, total system output is a hefty 601bhp, enough to take this 2350kg brute from 0-62mph in just 4.2sec and on to a limited top speed of 155mph. Now, before you shout that the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is faster still, it’s worth bearing in mind that the Polestar 1 is about more than just all-out pace.
This is one plug-in hybrid that’s serious about electric driving. It uses a pair of battery packs to give an electric only range of 78, miles according to official figures, or more than three times the distance you can expect from the Panamera. According to Polestar, this means the 1 can be treated like an electric car in normal day-to-day use; its petrol engine is only needed when you want to extend the range, or to provide a healthy dollop of extra performance.
Despite having more batteries than a branch of Currys, Polestar has still managed to squeeze a couple of chairs into the back of the 1. That makes it more practical than the BMW i8 and (in theory) on par with other 2+2s such as the Mercedes S-Class Coupé, Bentley Continental GT and Aston Martin DB11. Of course, if you just want a seriously high performance plug-in hybrid, the four-door Porsche Panamera is more sensible still.
But the question is, has Polestar’s gamble paid off? Read on over the next few pages to find out how good the 1 is to drive, how plush it is inside and how hard it’ll clobber your bank balance. Oh, and don’t forget to have a look at our New Car Buying pages for tempting deals on your next luxury car purchase.