See the beautiful Polestar Precept in motion: Lots of tech, a touch of Volvo

The Precept is a harbinger of Polestar's upcoming SUV

Polestar Precept concept
Polestar Precept concept
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Polestar's first two models, the 1 and the 2, started life as Volvo concept cars. What's next? The answer, according to the company's design boss, is the Precept concept. It might not reach production as-is, but Autoblog learned it ushers in the design language that will shape every addition to the Polestar range in the coming years.

Unveiled online, the Precept (pictured) takes the form of a wide, low-slung fastback with four doors and an unmistakable hint of Volvo-ness in its design. It was developed in-house on a blank sheet of paper, but Maximilian Missoni, Polestar's head of design, explained forging a subtle visual link between the two carmakers was one of the key points his team focused on as they created Polestar's first true design identity.

"We have this chance to start from scratch as a brand. We knew we wanted to stay close to Volvo in terms of some of the elements because we're proud of the affiliation. It gives us a big advantage in the market because people trust the Volvo brand, so we didn't want to break with that completely," he told Autoblog.

One of the strongest links between the Precept and members of Volvo's current range are the Thor's hammer-shaped front daytime running lights. The stripes that make up each light are positioned further apart than on, say, the V60, and they're more swept-back because the front end is lower.

The pod-like thingamabob above the windshield literally stands out as one of the Precept's more unusual features. It houses the lidar that helps power the car's semi-autonomous driving features. Missoni said his team considered integrating it into the front fascia, but engineers replied it wouldn't have been positioned high enough because the fastback is so low to the ground. On the roof it goes, then, and Polestar is proud of it. "We're not trying to hide these sensors; we're celebrating them and showing them off." It adds a little bit of drag, of course, but the designer pointed out his team's job is to juggle technology and design without dropping either.


You'll see many of the Precept's defining styling cues on Polestar's next model, an SUV tentatively called, you guessed it, Polestar 3. The two cars were developed in parallel. "There are elements of the SUV in the Precept, and elements of the Precept in the SUV. It's very similar to when we designed the Concept Coupe, the DNA donor for the Volvo family. That car was designed at the same time as the XC90," the designer said. 

Taken at face value, his comments suggest the high-riding model will wear short overhangs on both ends and a low nose. It will ride on big wheels needed to accommodate the generously-sized brakes required to slow a heavy electric car, and its interior will be more spacious than its exterior dimensions will lead you to believe because a motor is more compact than a four-cylinder engine. Full technical specifications remain under wraps for the time being, and we don't know precisely when the SUV will make its debut, but we'd guess it's not terribly far away.

SUVs and crossovers are selling like pasties in the Upper Peninsula, but Missoni still sees a huge amount of potential in sedans. They normally drive better, and they're capable of offering more range on a charge. Like rival Audi, Polestar believes it's too early to write the body style's obituary, though it hasn't announced plans to expand its range with additional sedans. Regardless of ground clearance, however, every model the company releases in the coming years will follow the path blazed by the Precept.

"If your task is to create a new design language for a premium brand, it's very easy to go back to those typical cues like chrome, leather, and wood for the inside, and with those icons create a luxury feeling. We said no; we want to use technology as an inspiration and still get this really luxurious expression. The outcome wasn't clear from the beginning, but I'm happy and proud of what we have achieved," Missoni concluded.

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