We’ve been expecting the Polestar Precept for a while now, and the launch this morning was a wonderful breath of fresh air. Modern, contemporary, inviting and — wait for it — sustainable. The Precept ticks all the boxes, and it’s ripe for production.
“[The] Polestar Precept’s aesthetics are rooted in cutting-edge technology rather than looking back in time at historical, automotive references,” says Maximilian Missoni, head of Design at Polestar. Because of this, the design team was able to free itself from the shackles of making it look like something with a pedigree.
The Polestar Precept is unique, compelling. Its streamlined shape is reminiscent of a Stealth Bomber in some aspects, with an unmistakable DRG. Unlike the Polestar 1, which started life as the Concept Coupe, the Precept banishes all ‘son-of-Volvo’ semblance. It’s clear that Polestar is coming into its own, identifying its own design language and carving out its own place in the electric car segment.
The Polestar Precept is a four-door grand tourer whose design ascribes a unique design philosophy that is embedded in the company’s brand values: pure, progressive and performance. As the name implies, the Precept is a vision of the brand’s manifesto; a declaration of intent.
The Polestar Precept embodies the values of ‘minimalistic athleticism’. The vehicle’s proportions define its presence with restrained surfacing and a focus on aerodynamic efficiency.
“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,” says Missoni.
The large battery pack, positioned in the floor within the 3100mm-long wheelbase, gives the Precept a very low and sleek silhouette with an emphasis on leg- and headroom in the rear.
The grille is replaced by the Polestar SmartZone, representing a shift from breathing to seeing. An area that once channeled air to radiators and the internal combustion engine now houses technology for safety sensors and driver assistance functions.
Purposefully gathered behind a transparent panel dedicated to intelligent hardware are two radar sensors and a high-definition camera. The Thor’s Hammer LED headlight signature evolves with separated elements, taking on a dynamic, more robotic and brand-defining interpretation.
Precept features an integrated front wing above the SmartZone that accelerates airflow over the hood. This allows air to attach itself to the surface earlier, which improves aerodynamic efficiency and thus improves the vehicle’s range.
At the rear, the wide light-blade spans the entire width of the car, extending into vertical aero-wings — another aerodynamic feature and a nod to lightweight design.
Camera-based units, each of which extends outwards on an aerodynamic arm, replace conventional side mirrors. Inside, the traditional rear-view mirror is replaced with a digital screen, the image collected by a wide-angle camera mounted at the rear of the car.
The absence of a conventional backlight means that the Precept’s single-volume glass roof extends behind the rear seats and the tailgate itself is designed with a larger opening and higher-mounted hinges improving access.
Enabled by Polestar’s continued collaboration with technology experts, Precept’s interior is defined by sustainability and offered the opportunity to work with new materials and processes. Similarly, the evolution of the HMI builds on current partnerships that maximize the integration of expertise.
Precept exhibits the execution of new, more sustainable interior materials, the continued development of the digital user interface and the essence of Polestar design.
Sustainable new interior materials balance modern high-tech luxury with reduced environmental impact. Bcomp’s flax-based composites for interior panels and seatbacks offer significant improvements over conventional materials, including up to 50% saving in weight and up to 80% reduction of plastic waste.
“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,” says Missoni.
Seat surfaces are 3D-knitted from recycled PET bottles; bolsters and headrests are made from recycled cork vinyl, while carpets are made from reclaimed fishing nets. These elements, combined with digital artistry, define a new premium luxury that surpasses the conventions of leather, wood and chrome.
The next-generation HMI, powered by Android, builds on Polestar’s close collaboration with Google. An enlarged, portrait-oriented 15-inch center touch screen complements a 12.5-inch driver display, and the two are linked by an illuminated blade that encompasses the entire interior. In this execution, the Polestar emblem floats holographically inside a solid piece of Swedish crystal between the rear seat headrests.
Supporting the advancement of a personalized and dynamic digital interface, the instrument panel also hosts an array of smart sensors. Eye-tracking will allow the car to monitor the driver’s gaze and adjust the content of the various screens accordingly. Proximity sensors also enhance the usability of the center display when driving. The LIDAR pod, mounted atop the glass roof, is given optimal visibility as the next step towards increased driving assistance.
The Polestar Precept is a very interesting take on the future of the automobile. Powered by an electric powertrain and made from recyclable and sustainable materials, the vehicle is a proof-of-concept for a multitude of clever new solutions. We’re looking forward to seeing the car in person at the Geneva auto show.