Many modern performance cars come with some sort of fancy technical adjustable suspension setup. But not the Polestar 1. Its suspension is much more straightforward, which is surprising considering it weighs more than a literal Bentley.
The new Bentley Continental GT has a curb weight of 4,947 lbs. The Polestar 1 weighs in at over 5,100. That can’t be good, right?
Carfection got some time in a Polestar 1 pre-production prototype on some soggy Swedish roads, which was just enough to check out its plug-in hybrid powertrain and its interesting suspension setup.
Instead of a dial on the interior that switches between comfort, sport, or whatever other varying degrees of adaptive suspension setups electronically on many modern performance cars, the Polestar 1's Öhlins dampers are fairly old school, and can be adjusted manually.
There’s just some good old fashioned shocks, and to adjust the stiffness, there are two dials under the hood of the car that you can manually turn with your fingers, with nine various settings of stiffness.
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Sure, it’s slightly more onerous than a button or whatever, but it is infinitely cooler. Not only do you get to say things like “oh, my car has manual Öhlins dampers,” but when you do it yourself you feel ever-so-slightly like a mechanic tinkering with a race car. While it’s a bit goofy, it’s fun to think of a modern car you still have to get out and pop the hood on and do some manual labor to make a significant change to how it drives.
That is just objectively cooler.
According to Roadshow and Carfection’s Tim Stevens, the simple setup doesn’t seem to compromise the handling. Stevens says it’s firm but not punishing, settles seamlessly over humps and in the corners, and is surprisingly well balanced for a car that weighs over 5,100 pounds.
I like the simplicity of the Polestar 1's setup, and as for the rest of the car, Stevens is a little taken aback by the amount of Volvo interior that’s been carried over from much less expensive models, though he says it still works for the car, which we get as Volvo interiors these days always feel somehow better than the market segment of whatever car they’re in. He also says what we’re all thinking, which is that this car’s strongest selling point it just how good it looks. And that’s for a design taken from a concept car dating back to 2013.
You can read more of Tim’s thoughts on the car over at Roadshow.