Last week, Polestar, Volvo’s new stand-alone brand for high-performance electrified models, called the extensive use of CFRP composites “one of the key components in creating a responsive and agile driving experience” for the brand’s Polestar 1 vehicle. According to Polestar, CFRP helped engineers save more than 500 pounds on the vehicle’s overall body weight.
“Carbon fiber is crucial in meeting our design, engineering and performance goals with the Polestar 1,” says Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. “The result is a beautiful, technological package that remains faithful to the original design with its elegant and low silhouette. It looks as good as it is to drive!”
The Polestar 1, which made its European debut in Geneva earlier this year, represents the first time that the Volvo Car Group has explored carbon fiber construction. Carbon fiber components have been used extensively in the car’s structure, including the bonnet, boot lid, side panels, doors, the entire roof structure, and a dragonfly-shaped chassis. Polestar says the unique shape of the chassis plays an instrumental role in creating the Polestar 1’s reactive dynamics by radically improving torsional stiffness at one of the critical points in the body structure between the middle of the floor and rear construction.
“When you combine this strengthened framework with the super-strong body and roof structure, you get a stiff and communicative chassis which translates driver input into superb driving characteristics,” says Christian Samson, Head of Product Creation at Polestar.
Polestar notes there are significant design benefits as well. The carbon fiber roof structure is not only thinner and stronger than a steel equivalent but also allows for a much lower roof line, resulting in a sleek and slender profile.
To date, Volvo has claimed interest from more than 5,000 customers for the Polestar 1. The Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China, which is currently under construction and due to begin full-scale production in mid-2019, is being specifically designed to deal with the intricate nature of carbon fiber construction.