High performance electric vehicles unveiled by Volvo

high performance electric car
Volvo  made a big commitment earlier this year to put electric motors in all of its vehicles by 2019 — and now the automaker will double down on electrification with an entirely new luxury car brand. 

Volvo and its Chinese parent company, Geely Holdings, just announced that they'll invest about $755 million together to create Polestar, which will manufacture electrified vehicles in China. The new brand will be a "fully consolidated Volvo Cars subsidiary," focused solely on creating electric, performance-first vehicles.

The plans for the Polestar were unveiled at an event in Shanghai, where the first vehicle from the brand, the Polestar 1, also made its debut. The brand new two-door coupé isn't an all-electric car, but it has a hybrid engine that the company claims will offer an estimated 93 miles per charge of range running on electricity alone, which would give it more range than any hybrid currently on the road. 

The car boasts a carbon fiber body and the new Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi), which lets drivers change the settings on the fly to adjust to road conditions. 

The Polestar 1 also has an ‘Electric Performance Hybrid’ drivetrain, and it's powerful, too — when its gas engine is pressed into service, the car can produce up to 600 horsepower and 1000Nm of torque.

Polestar isn't skimping on tech, either. The company says the 1 will depend on a new "phone-as-key" system that will allow drivers to share a virtual key with third parties and access specialized concierge services. The Polestar 1 is slated to begin production in a new facility China by mid-2019, just in time to be included in Volvo's new all-electrified car lineup. 

If you're interested in snapping up one of the new hybrids, Polestar has an intriguing offer for you: a flat monthly subscription program, similar to the new service Volvo announced for its XC40 SUVs last month. The ordering process for the Polestar 1 will take place entirely online, and the company says it will offer the cars on a two- or three-year subscription basis without a deposit fee (it's not clear how expensive monthly payments will be). 

As its name implies, the Polestar 1 is just the first of several planned vehicles from the new brand. Next in line is the Polestar 2, set to start production in mid-2019. The company says the mid-sized car will be the first all-electric vehicle from Volvo, aimed at competing with Tesla's Model 3 sedan. A third vehicle, the Polestar 3, will be an all-electric SUV.  

Volvo announced that it will launch three other all-electric cars by 2021, presumably with Volvo branding.  

You can order one of the new Polestar 1 cars now, but the company will only produce 500 — so if you want a high-performance hybrid that you can only order online, head over to Polestar's new website to check it out.

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