Polestar 1: Maybe you can buy one after all [UPDATE: Price may be as high as $177,000]

There are mixed messages about the exclusivity of Polestar's subscription service

UPDATE 2: Press manager Johan Meissner gave us the following statement: "In simple terms, all Polestar cars will be offered on a comprehensive subscription basis that will cover depreciation, insurance and routine maintenance. If you wish to understand the cost of a Polestar 1, purely for competitor comparative reasons, the indicative target price would be in the region of 130-150,000 Euros. If a customer wanted to purchase the car outright, this is something that we would assess nearer the time."

We'd love to say that everything is now clear, but it isn't. There's still no indication of when a decision will be made as to the price of a Polestar 1. What is clear, though, is that the subscription model is the one Polestar is banking on, leaving an outright purchase price something of an afterthought. At present, 130,000 - 150,000 euros equals $153,000 - $177,000 in the States.

UPDATE: We asked for confirmation from Polestar press manager Johan Meissner that the Polestar 1 would be sold in addition to leased on subscription, and received the following response: "People will only be able to subscribe to the Polestar 1."

While that sounds pretty firm, we're still seeing conflicting reports. We will update this post as more information becomes available.

Polestar, once a performance-bred division of Volvo but now a standalone company producing cars of its own, just introduced its first dedicated model, the Polestar 1, to the public. For the most part, we like what we see from the 600-horsepower hybrid coupe. What we're not sure about, though, is the company's distinctive subscription model.

Obtaining a new Polestar 1 will be a much different practice than most customers are likely familiar with. Instead of paying cash to buy a car outright or taking out a loan from the bank, Polestar will offer its cars with a single "all-inclusive, no deposit, flat monthly payment." That payment will include insurance, car rental services when the car is being worked on, and insurance. After a fixed term of two or three years, the car will go back to Polestar for refurbishment, and it'll again be made available for customers to use on another "pre-owned" subscription term.

That all sounds pretty simple on the surface, and Polestar makes it sound like it's all-in on the subscription model. According to Jonathan Goodman, chief operating officer of Polestar, "Our vision is that the Polestar subscription model and services that we will offer will define the Polestar brand as much as our cars will. Services that exceed the needs, desires and expectations of the premium performance car customer are at the heart of Polestar, removing the inconvenience of ownership and allowing customers to purely concentrate on the pleasure of driving a Polestar car."

But what if you want to drive a Polestar 1, but you just want to pay cash up front, and you don't want to give it back after two or three years? Well, here's where things get a bit tricky. A post from Polestar on the company's official Instagram page indicated in two separate comments that the subscription service won't be the only option.

"That information (that you cannot buy a Polestar 1) is incorrect - if you would rather buy the car instead of committing to the subscription plan, you will be able to do that." Another comment from Polestar's official account confirmed "You will have the option of buying the car as well."

This option is not mentioned anywhere else in the company's website or press release (and would seem to clearly contradict them), so we have no idea what it will take, monetarily or otherwise, to buy a Polestar 1 outright.

According to Jason Torchinsky at Jalopnik, Goodman said, "If someone wants to give us $100-X-thousand dollars, we'll find a way."

Does that mean there's an actual sticker price on the Polestar 1 for buyers who want to pay cash and own the car outright? We don't know, but we've reached out to Polestar for clarification. As soon as we know more, so will you.

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