Take a look inside the Volvo factory built to produce its new high-powered Tesla rival


Polestar Production Center

  • Volvo’s Polestar has opened its first production facility in Chengdu, China, dedicated to producing the automaker’s first car, the Polestar 1.
  • The Polestar 1 is an hybrid-electric performance coupe with 600 horsepower.
  • The automaker calls the new production center “one of the most environmentally-responsible car factories in China.”
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Polestar, Volvo’s electric performance brand, has opened its first production facility in Chengdu, China. It will produce the Polestar 1, an electric performance hybrid coupe.

“Here in Chengdu we are not only manufacturing a premium hybrid-electric performance car,” Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said in a prepared statement. “We have also created an inspirational manufacturing environment, a great place to work and visit. It truly reflects the Polestar brand.”

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The Polestar Production Center was created with the goal of being “one of the most environmentally responsible car factories in China” with a focus on progressive sustainability. The factory was designed by internationally-renowned Snøhetta, an architecture and design company.

“The innovative design of the interaction scheme aligns creative visionary processes with technical production requirements, setting a new standard for inclusive fabrication facilities,” Snøhetta’s co-founder Kjetil Trædal Thorsen said in a prepared statement.

The Polestar 1 is a 600-horsepower electric car — what the automaker calls the “most premium new energy vehicle to be manufactured in China.” The country is widely recognized as the world’s largest electric vehicle market.

Polestar 1

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The automaker claims to have hired highly trained quality control auditors with a minimum of 10 years of experience with strict monitoring and assessment procedures to oversee the production process.

An estimated 500 Polestar 1 cars are planned to be built annually at the new Chengdu facility, and the first few builds are expected to be delivered before the end of the year. Thinking ahead, reservations for Polestar 2 — the 1’s forthcoming smaller sibling — are already available. The newer car will be built in Luqiao, China.

Take a peek at the new, sleek Polestar Production Center in Chengdu, China:

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The Polestar Production Center was opened in Chengdu, China and is the country’s most advanced, environmentally friendly manufacturing base, according to Polestar.

Polestar, owned by Volvo, says it has three values that it hopes to reflect in the production: of pure, progressive, and performance.

“Pure in its focus on sustainability, progressive in both design and technology, and showcasing performance through its exacting and precise manufacturing processes,” said the automaker in a released statement.

“Being part of the Volvo Car Group enables Polestar to design, develop and engineer our cars using the processes of a well-established car company but at the same time, enables us to experiment with new technology in lower volume cars outside the mainstream segments,” Ingenlath said in a prepared statement.

The factory was designed by renowned architecture and design company Snøhetta with a focus on sustainability and design.

It was created with the intention of achieving Gold status by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ratings.

The production facility also includes a test track and an atrium that has panoramic views of the factory.

The production center was designed for the low-volume production of the automaker’s flagship car, but also has features that allow it to cater to larger production volumes in the future, according to the Polestar COO Jonathan Goodman.

Around 500 Polestar 1 cars will be built per year in the facility. The car has a three-year production cycle.

The flagship will cost between $160,000 and $185,000.

The plug-in hybrid can travel up to 150 km, about 93 miles, on electric power. This makes it the longest full-electric range hybrid car on the market, according to Polestar.

The car has a horsepower of 600 that comes with the combined four-cylinder Volvo Drive-E engine and electric motors.

Most of the body parts of the Polestar 1 are carbon fiber, therefore reducing the weight of the car and its center of gravity, while increasing its rigidity, according to Polestar.

Polestar claims that this allows for a better performing and more driveable car.

“Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the [hood],” said Ingenlath in a prepared statement. “A beautiful GT [Grand Tourer] with amazing technology packed into it — a great start for our new Polestar brand.”

Production has already begun and the carmaker will start delivering the Polestar 1 cars made in this factory globally before the end of the year

The Polestar 2 production will take place in Luqiao, China early-2020.

Reservations for the all-electric Polestar 2, designed to compete with the Tesla Model 3, can be made on their website.

Polestar 3 is already being planned and is set to be a fully-electric performance SUV.