Last year Volvo announced it was to split in-house performance brand Polestar from the rest of company, repositioning it as a stand-alone marque producing upmarket electrified models. In short it went from being its Nismo to its Infiniti - and then some.
Its first creation in this new era is the Polestar 1, the company's first, and last, hybrid car - with the upcoming 2 and 3, as well as all subsequent models, set to be electric only. A two-door, four seat GT, the 1 is powered by a hybrid drivetrain based around Volvo's four-cylinder Drive-E engine and is capable of 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds thanks to the 600hp and 728lb ft produced by that setup.
Although it may be built on Volvo's Scalable Platform Architecture, and bear more than a passing resemblance to the S90 coupe concept, roughly 50 per cent of the car is new and bespoke to Polestar. Construction of major structural components from carbon fibre has completely counteracted the 230kg weight penalty incurred by the batteries versus a standard S90 saloon, while also serving to increase torsional stiffness by 45 per cent.
The 1 is also the first car be equipped with Ohlins' Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension, whereby each damper is fitted with an electronic valve to constantly monitor both the driver's inputs and the road surface, appropriately adapting the car's dynamics to suit the situation in just two milliseconds.
A fixed term, zero-deposit, subscription programme had previously been touted as the only way to get the car but, while there's no word from the company on whether that is still planned, the €2500 (£2200) deposit currently required suggests a change of direction. As does the fact that it can be ordered here at all. Originally just six countries - China, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA - were set to get the 1, but the UK is one of an additional 12 markets that have since been added to that list. Left-hand drive remains the only option.
Polestar expects to build just 500 examples of the 1 per year once production at its new Chengdu factory gets up to speed in mid-2019. Although it has been mooted that the initial production run of 1,500 cars could be significantly increased to meet demand. The pre-order form is now live on Polestar's website, and with over 7,000 people having supposedly already registered their interest, you'd better be quick if you want a chance of being amongst those early adopters.