Polestar Precept electric flagship saloon set for production
Polestar has confirmed that it'll put the Precept concept car into production, most probably arriving in showrooms in 2023. The Precept had previously been intended to take centre stage at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2020, before the event was cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.
The production version of the Precept electric saloon will likely rival models such as the Tesla Model S and Porsche Panamera. As with Polestar's other cars, chances are it'll be built on the same SPA2 mechanical platform that it shares with some Volvo cars.
Speaking to DrivingElectric, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath explained that the production version of the Precept will fit into the brand's numerical naming system, but stopped short of saying which number it'd carry: "We will not change our nomenclature that quickly," he said. "But as a codeword for us to work with until it gets into production, let's call it Precept."
The car won't be ready for production for some time, as Ingenlath explained: "This car will be thoroughly engineered and tested, so of course, three years will pass before we can talk about the start of production," he said.
It's expected that the car will sit at the top of Polestar's range when it arrives; rather than a limited-run car like the Polestar 1, Precept will be a permanent fixture in the line-up.
Polestar's focus on sustainability will be reflected in the car's battery, which will most likely offer a range of around 300 miles: "If you're talking about making a car more efficient, that's great," Ingenlath explained. "If you're talking about packing more and more kWh into the car to make the best range figure, it's crazy, because that doesn't help us get closer to making a sustainable car."
It's likely that the new car will focus on faster charging speeds rather than a bigger battery that requires more precious elements to produce. It's also expected that the Precept will continue that sustainable approach elsewhere; customer appetite for a sustainably made car helped clear the model for production, in fact.
"Generations are changing; younger people are becoming older," Ingenlath said. "The premium segment is changing into that direction, so luxury has [sustainability] in focus."
It's likely that Polestar's forthcoming flax-based composite will take the place of traditional virgin plastics in the new car's interior – and it's set to be built at a bespoke, carbon-neutral factory in China.
Elsewhere, Ingenlath confirmed that the forthcoming Polestar 3 SUV will use an updated version of the Android-powered infotainment system found in the Polestar 2, and that it'd be "crazy" not to use it on the as-yet-unnamed production Precept.
Polestar Precept concept car details and design
Aside from its striking exterior styling, the Precept concept car includes innovations in sustainable interior materials and HMI (human-machine interface). At the front, the grille has been replaced with a transparent panel called the 'Polestar SmartZone', which houses sensors for the car's driver-assistance and safety systems.
Above this, an integrated front wing accelerates air flow over the long bonnet, improving aerodynamic efficiency and thus range. At the rear, there's a full-width light blade, which extends at its edges into small 'aero wings' – another aerodynamic touch. As on the Honda e and certain versions of the Audi e-tron, conventional door mirrors are replaced by cameras feeding to screens at the edge of the dashboard, while a wide-angle camera on the rear of the car supplies the picture for the central rear-view screen.
Inside, a 3.1-metre long wheelbase ensures generous rear headroom and legroom. There's no separate rear window; the car's single-piece glass roof extends behind the the rear seats. Between the rear headrests, the Polestar emblems floats holographically inside a solid piece of Swedish crystal.
Several different types of sustainable materials are used for the interior, including flax-based composites for the panels and seatbacks, 3D-knitted recycled plastic bottles for the seat surfaces, recycled cork vinyl for the seat bolsters and headrests and reclaimed fishing nets for the carpets.
Like the Polestar 1 and Polestar 2 production models, the Precept uses an Android-based infotainment system. There's a 15-inch portrait-orientated central screen as well as a 12.5-inch screen in front of the driver, linked by an illuminated 'blade' that encompasses the whole interior. The system complements the usual touchscreen interface with eye-tracking and proximity sensors to allow hands-free manipulation of the menus.
According to Polestar's head of design Maximilian Missoni: "At Polestar, we see technology as an enabler, as a tool to solve our society’s problems and we translated this attitude into a new set of design principles. The combination of sustainable materials and high-tech smart systems opens an entirely new chapter of avant-garde luxury design and shows where Polestar is heading.”