We first encountered the Polestar Precept concept at what should have been the Geneva Motor Show, and latterly the Scando-Chinese brand gave us some more tantalising details about its attractive four-door GT. But at that point, it was very much framed as how the brand 'could' proceed, rather than how it definitely would.
Now, Polestar has confirmed that the Precept is going to make it into production and development is well underway. Polestar framed the Precept as “a manifesto to illustrate the brand's future vision and was described as a commitment car, not a concept car”. Essentially, it was the embodiment of how Polestar sees its future design direction.
According to Polestar CEO, Thomas Ingenlath; “The public said, 'We want it', so we decided to build it. Consumers want to see change from this industry – not just dreams. Now, Precept becomes an even stronger statement.”
In its pre-production form, as shown to the public already, the Polestar Precept cuts an intriguing shape. You can see the lineage in the front and rear LED lights – something very deliberate from the brand – but aside from the Scandinavian minimalism and chic interior design, its poles apart from the 1 and 2 (pardon the pun).
An entirely new, sleek front end houses the next generation of Polestar Pilot Assist sensors, including long and mid-range radar, ultrasonic sensors and high-definition cameras. Aerodynamic features funnel air under, through and around the car, starting at the nose of the car. On the roof, a LIDAR feeds into the car's safety systems. Large 22 inch wheels sit at each end of a long wheelbase, which helps create a seriously spacious interior – aided by a full length glass roof. The minimalist design makes for an un-fussy profile, and a rear end which is dominated by lighting and aero features.
Inside, a host of digital integrations, based on Google technology and facilitated through a 15 inch digital interface adds to the car's premium feel. This is backed up by a 9 inch digital display, and all in-car systems are subject to over-the-air updates, like those in the Polestar 2, meaning they'll only ever improve over time.
Sadly, the Precept won't be on the road for another three years.
Polestar isn't just hedging its bets on the car being a looker and technologically advanced: “We are committed to reduce the environmental impact of our cars and our business,” said Ingenlath. “The aim has to be climate neutrality, even though I recognise that is a long-term goal.”
Throughout the Precept, Polestar has sought to use materials that are either recycled or from sustainable sources. Recycled PET bottles, reclaimed fishing nets and recycled cork vinyl make up some of the main cabin surfaces, whilst a flax-based composite developed by Bcomp (which has also developed materials for the Volta Zero truck) is featured in both interior and exterior panels.
Whilst much of the design and development work is undertaken in Europe, Polestar will be building the Precept in China at a new production facility which, when built, will be carbon neutral and one of the most intelligent and connected facilities in the world. It's not like the brand doesn't have form, either, with its Chengdu facility becoming the first LEED Gold-rated production facility in China, running on 100 per cent renewable energy.
Polestar is also on a wider drive to promote transparency around environmental impact in the EV industry. As part of its goal of becoming the world's most sustainable EV brand, it now undertakes and will publish lifecycle statistics around the impact of its cars. For example, a Polestar 2 leaves the factory with a 26 tonne carbon footprint – more than an equivalent Volvo XC40. It takes 31,000 miles of driving and, crucially, charging with green energy, for the EV to catch up with the petrol version.
Polestar wants more brands to be this transparent and join in by using its methodology so there is a consistent message to consumers about the impact of the car they're buying.
“Fragmentation will only lead to confusion. Car manufacturers have to come together and be more transparent,” said Fredrika Klarén, Head of Sustainability at Polestar. “What we’re saying at Polestar is, as an industry; let’s help consumers make the right choice.”
If you want to check out how Polestar works out its vehicles' carbon impact, you can find its methodology here.