A disguised prototype version of the upcoming Polestar 5 electric car (pictured above) will appear at the Goodwood Festival of Speed event in the UK, beginning 23 June next. The Polestar Precept concept model that inspired it will also be displayed on Polestar’s main stand at the event.
Commenting on the plans, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said: “Goodwood is our favourite place to show our cars in an enthusiast environment… Our UK R&D team is doing an amazing job developing the car, and we are proud to be able to highlight their hard work at this early stage.”
The Polestar 5 will be the electric-only brand’s luxury flagship model, rivalling the Tesla Model S, Mercedes EQS, Lucid Air and Porsche Taycan when it arrives in 2024. It’ll be some time before we see the final production car in the metal, but in addition to Polestar’s own camouflaged prototype images, patent images filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) give an idea of what to expect.
They confirm that the Polestar 5’s styling will be near-identical to that of the Precept concept, as head of Polestar UK R&D, Pete Allen, explained to DrivingElectric in February 2022, saying: “We aim to deliver a car as close to the design conception as possible.”
The front end shown in the patent images is slightly less aggressive than the original concept, but the forthcoming flagship’s proportions and the rakish coupe-like roofline in particular appear to have been preserved. The same goes for the EV’s distinctive rear end design.
We can also see from the placement of the door handles that the 5 will feature a conventional set of doors, as opposed to the more striking ‘coach doors’ that appeared on the Precept concept. However, one element from the concept that will reach production is the lack of a separate rear window.
Instead, the car will feature a single-piece glass roof that flows back over the rear-seat passengers’ heads, behind which will be a solid panel. Polestar says this allows for greater boot space, although it remains to be seen how that’ll work in practice. Luggage space will also be bolstered by a ‘frunk’ under the bonnet.
If you’re concerned about visibility with that rear panel, don’t be. We expect the Polestar 5 will feature a live camera feed to a digital rear-view mirror, while Lidar sensors will also work with the car’s autonomous driving technology. Allen assured us that: “we have a technology answer to no rear screen”.
Underneath, the Polestar 5 will use a bespoke bonded aluminium platform that’s also being developed in the UK. Along with the structural battery, the setup will provide “supercar levels of torsional rigidity,” according to Allen. This will help to offer “best-in-class vehicle dynamics”, which is a bold claim given that the car will be going head-to-head against BMW and Porsche’s own zero-emissions flagships.
As a result of the new materials and techniques Polestar is employing, the 5’s completed platform and body are expected to weigh less than those of cars in smaller segments. This is expected to benefit the car’s range, efficiency and driving dynamics, but Polestar has also reiterated its commitment to safety.
As mentioned, the Polestar 5 won’t arrive until 2024. The Swedish brand’s next EV to go on sale is the Polestar 3, which will be unveiled in October to take on the Tesla Model X, BMW iX and Audi e-tron. It’ll be followed up by a coupe-SUV that’ll rival the Tesla Model Y and electric Porsche Macan, among others.
Polestar 5: range, charging and technology
No exact range or performance figures for the Polestar 5 have been released yet, but speaking previously to DrivingElectric, Ingenlath explained that the brand’s focus on sustainability will be reflected in its 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,” he explained. “If you’re talking about packing more and more kWh into the car to make the best range, it’s crazy, because that doesn’t help us get closer to making a sustainable car.”
It’s likely that the 5 will focus on faster charging speeds rather than a bigger battery that requires more precious elements to produce, although we’ve yet to hear any news on battery capacities. However, Allen did say a decision has been made on the power source for the launch models. There’s also enough flexibility in the platform to be able to accept different types of batteries through the car’s lifespan.
We expect the 5 to feature 800v rapid-charging technology, as in the Audi e-tron GT and Porshce Taycan; Polestar claims a system like this could allow a 103kWh battery to charge to 80% capacity in around 20 minutes. Other Polestar technology likely to feature on the 5 includes a 595bhp rear electric motor with a two-speed gearbox, hinting at performance to match or beat rivals’.
Inside, the car is set to be as minimalist as the Precept concept that inspired it, with sustainable materials used throughout and a Google-powered infotainment system. The existing Polestar 2 coupe-SUV uses a similar Android-based system, while the Polestar 3 SUV arriving later in 2022 will have an updated version.
While this will become Polestar’s flagship model when it arrives in 2024, the upcoming Tesla Model X-rivalling 3 SUV and the sportier 4 coupe-SUV that’ll launch in 2022 and 2023 respectively are expected to make up a greater proportion of sales for the Swedish EV brand.
Polestar Precept concept: 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 rear seats. Between the rear headrests, the Polestar emblem 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.”