No, that’s not a two-door Volvo S90 blasting up the hill at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed. That’s the Polestar 1 hybrid we’ve been wanting to see in action since we were given a teaser video of a camo-wrapped car silently drifting its way through a snowbound course earlier this year. We say silent not because the car uses prolific electric power, but because there was actually no sound in that video.
Interestingly, this run at Goodwood isn’t much different. Yes there are all kinds of sounds this time around, but as you watch and listen for yourself you’ll quickly (and possibly comically) realise none have any relation to the car in question. Not that we’d mind hearing a thick V8 or a high-revving race mill coming from this big grand tourer that, if we’re honest, looks sinfully dressed in matte black camo.
In reality, the Polestar 1 is powered by a pair of electric motors and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that’s both supercharged and turbocharged. The result is 600 bhp and a mountain of torque – specifically 737 pound-feet sent to all four wheels. It certainly is enough power to give the big electric coupe some handsome performance chops, but Polestar is still mum on specifics.
Watching this prototype silently scampering up the hill at Goodwood, it looks reasonably athletic for what’s certainly a large, portly car. Body roll appears managed, and though we suspect the driver isn’t necessarily pushing things to the ragged edge, the effort is certainly enough to make us crave some time behind the wheel.
That probably won’t happen for a while. Polestar is expected bring this car out next year as a 2020 model, though only 500 will be initially built. As you’d expect, with rarity and big performance comes a big price tag – new models are expected to start at around £135,993.