Polestar Precept electric grand tourer confirmed for production

Volvo’s sporty electric spin-off brand says stylish four-door will serve as brand flagship – but is at least three years away from production

Polestar will put the stunning Precept grand tourer electric concept into production – and brand boss Thomas Ingenlath has said that the positive public reaction to the electric grand tourer was a key influence on this decision.

The four-door EV concept was unveiled earlier this year as a showcase for the ambitions of Volvo’s new sporting sibling brand, both in terms of its design and its use of innovative sustainable materials. These include flax-based composites that cut weight by up to 50% and achieve a reduction in plastic weight of up to 80%. The Precept’s interior also uses materials such as recycled PET bottles, reclaimed fishing nets and recycled cork vinyl.

While there had been suggestion the Precept’s shape would be used as the inspiration both for styling features on the forthcoming Polestar 3 SUV and a future Tesla Model S-rivalling saloon, the firm has decided to put it into production as close to its concept form as possible. That includes a commitment to use as many sustainable materials as possible to minimise its use of plastic and reduce its carbon footprint.

“Once we did the Precept and stood in front looking at it… my god. Sometimes you just do something and you’re really tempted,” said Ingenlath.

“After we revealed the Precept, we read the articles on it and had people seeing it, and we got the conviction that the design was something people liked and that it could be a real hit. “The question is always ‘how do you make it work’? What will it take technology- wise and investment-wise?

“This isn’t fake: it was built as a show car, but our engineers have done the research and found ways to construct it and do it. It’s an ambitious project, but we wanted to make it our next big project.”

Ingenlath said the Precept is “at least three years” from being ready for production, due to the development work required to ensure the new materials it uses and design features can be produced at volume.

He added that the machine will follow Polestar’s number-based nomenclature, although it will continue to be called the Precent during development. Ingenlath said the exact number used would depend on where in the firm’s model launch plans the production Precept comes.

Although Polestar has yet to reveal any firm technical details or targets for the Precept, Ingenlath hinted it would have a “competitive” range and the performance required to put it on par in the premium sports cars market. The Precept concept is 3.1 metres long – 150mm longer than a Model S – which Polestar says is to allow for a large battery and create rear head and leg room.

Inside, the concept features the next-generation version of Polestar’s Android-based infotainment system, with a 15-inch portait-orientated central touchscreen and a 12.5-inch digital instrument display.

While the Polestar 1was a limited-run plug-in hybrid coupé, the recently launched 2 is a higher-volume electric fastback designed to rival the Tesla Model 3. It will be followed next year by the 3, a sleek SUV that’s tipped to take design cues from the Precept.

Although the Precept won’t be a limited-run model in the same way as the 1, Ingenlath added: “Mass production with 30 or 60 cars per hour is also not the idea. There are cars and volumes in between. You can’t produce just hundreds of such cars, but you don’t need to produce 10,000 to make it production-relevant.”

Ingenlath compared Polestar’s approach to that of firms like Porsche, suggesting there was room for both mass production models and lower volume sports cars. “A company like Porsche also has cars they produce in higher numbers and cars they produce in good numbers but not comparable to an SUV,” he said. “Our SUV is a better volume opportunity than a very low sporty car such as the Precept.”

Hinting it would be broadly comparable in volume to the Porsche Panamera, Ingenlath said: “It will be a top-notch, exclusive car. That’s clear.”

Ingenlath said the Precept will be made at a new facility in China, which Polestar claims will be carbon-neutral and use innovative technologies to minimise the environmental impact of car production.

Q&A: Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar boss

What does the Precept say about Polestar’s environmental ambitions?

“With this car, we can go the full monty, from it being an electric car to having materials in it that aim to replace virgin plastic to production with as much green energy as possible and as low an impact on the environment as possible.”

Will the Precept be Polestar’s new flagship?

“Yes… until we do the next thing.”

James Attwood

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