UPDATE: Volvo's performance spin-off, Polestar, has released new images of its Precept concept. We've added the new images here, but the article is otherwise unchanged.
February 26: Polestar, the all-electric performance brand spun out of the Volvo business in 2017, has unveiled a first look at its next-generation design and technology plans: the Precept concept.
Focusing more on technology than performance, Polestar has previewed the Precept's style, aerodynamics and safety features over its drive systems – although something similar to the Polestar 1's 441kW, 1000Nm drive system may be lurking under the skin.
From a design perspective, the Precept takes an important step away from the clearly Volvo-based styling of the Polestar 1 and Polestar 2 production cars, introducing a look of its own.
Polestar makes a point of doing away with the conventional grille, although basic cooling and aero needs are still met through openings at the front end.
The Thor's Hammer LED signature made famous with the Volvo brand remains a key part of the headlight arrangement, now separated into distinct elements. These flank a narrow 'SmartZone' panel that shows off the radar sensors and high-definition camera that contribute to the Precept's safety credentials.
A LIDAR pod is mounted to the glass roof, adding to the capabilities of the radar and camera systems. Although not specified, the Precept may boast full or near-complete autonomous driving capability.
At the rear, a wide 'light blade' runs the width of the car, set beneath a tailgate that does away with a window in favour of a camera system and a digital display in place of the conventional rear-view mirror in the cabin.
Inside, the Precept features the company's new Google Android-based infotainment system promised over the past year. This powers a 15-inch centre screen and a 12.5-inch driver display, linked visually by an "illuminated blade" that wraps the interior.
Smart sensors feature in the cabin, tracking driver attention and adjusting the content of the two screens to suit.
Materials in the cabin include 3D-knitted seat fabrics made from recycled PET bottles, while the bolsters and headrests are made from recycled cork vinyl and the carpets are made from reclaimed fishing nets.
In Polestar's view, these materials, which offer a 50 per cent weight saving and an 80 per cent reduction in plastic waste, "define a new premium luxury that surpasses the conventions of leather, wood and chrome". Sustainability is chic.
The company offers no word on the Precept's production potential, although much of its design appears showroom-ready.
Today's release offers only: "Minimalistic athleticism, the sculpted form of the Polestar Precept sets the tone for future Polestar vehicles" – confirming we can expect to see elements of its design in future models, if nothing else.