The fourth car from Polestar has been revealed at the Shanghai motor show as “the reinvention of the SUV coupé” and will enter the premium crossover segment to take on the Porsche Macan.
Arriving, notably, without a rear window, the Polestar 4 joins the recently unveiled Polestar 3 SUV as the firm’s first bespoke offerings, in contrast to the Volvo-based design roots of its first two models, the 1 and 2.
Like the £78,900 Polestar 3, the rakish, electric-powered 4 is positioned as a premium model to rival the likes of Porsche, BMW and Genesis. As such, it will command a price of between £50,000 and £65,000, depending on whether a single- or dual-motor powertrain is chosen.
A focus on maximum range has shaped the design, according to head of Polestar design Maximilian Missoni. This is due to the positioning of the header rail, which most cars have and is sited around the rear roof area to add rigidity and strength to the vehicle’s structure.
The rail’s position is pivotal: lower it too much to ensure a slippery vehicle and the rail impedes head room, but keep it high for more interior space and it impacts performance by affecting aerodynamics.
Polestar’s solution for the 4, which is based on Volvo/Polestar’s largely aluminium PMA platform, is to both lower the header and move it behind the rear passengers’ heads. Doing so sites the header rail where the rear window would normally be, so a roof-mounted camera now aids rear visibility in lieu of the rear glass. The 4’s drag coefficient is a slippery 0.269. The Tesla Model S’s, for comparison, is 0.208.
Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath, formerly design head at Volvo, has been an influencing factor in how the 4 looks. Ingenlath joked that more conservative car makers would still be gauging reaction to the idea at customer clinics. “You are not a design leader if you have to go out and clinic,” he said.
The 4 crossover is just under five metres long, with a 102kWh battery pack (94kWh of usable capacity) and 268bhp in single-motor form or 537bhp as a dual-motor model. “It’s a very good addition to the 3,” said Ingenlath. “Polestar will cover the premium SUV segment in a comprehensive way, from €50,000 to, well… Does it ever end?” Polestar’s designers say the 4’s interior has been inspired by fashion-wear.
The materials used are typically modern in feel but minimalist and elegant in design. Aside from one rotary knob on the centre console, there are no separate buttons for the climate or infotainment. It’s all touchscreen. Missoni said he thinks it’s more usable.
The rear cabin, which has a backlit panel stretching behind the seats, is “a modern Elegant cabin has a button-free layout. Rear view is via camera place to be, very cocooning”, according to Missoni. The rear-view mirror can be flicked from camera screen to mirror so drivers can check on rear-seat occupants.
The 4 will be built in China and go on sale there first, with a staggered global roll-out to follow. European sales are set to begin next spring.