Geneva Motor Show 2020

Polestar Precept concept previews brand's digitally advanced electric road ahead

The Polestar Precept signals a design turn for the company.

Photo courtesy of Polestar

Polestar, the automaker owned by Geely, the parent company of Volvo, has evolved to be an electric performance car brand. With that evolution comes a look at what is ahead – in this case the Polestar Precept concept car.

Featuring an interior swathed in sustainable materials and a fresh take on the company's digital user interface, Precept is more than just a design direction. Polestar says that is, "a manifesto of things to come; a declaration."

Polestar Precept At the rear is a light bar that descends on each side into vertical aero-wings.Photo courtesy of Polestar

The car signifies a major milestone for Polestar. It emphasizes the brand's values: pure, progressive, and performance.

"Precept is a declaration, a vision of what Polestar stands for and what makes the brand relevant," comments Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar. "The car is a response to the clear challenges our society and industry face. This is not a dream of a distant future, Polestar Precept previews future vehicles and shows how we will apply innovation to minimize our environmental impact."

The car exhibits what Polestar calls "minimalistic athleticism". This is, in theory at least, the same design mantra Porsche follows with its 911. The exterior focuses on aerodynamic design rather than ornamentation. The Precept has a 3.1-meter wheelbase, which fits the car's large battery pack. Its four-door design takes into account a proper amount of head- and legroom in the rear for comfort.

At the front, instead of a traditional grille there's something the company calls "Polestar SmartZone". The area houses technology for safety sensors and driver assistance functions. The transparent panel at the front covers two radar sensors and a high-definition camera. A LIDAR pod is mounted on top of the glass roof. The traditional Thor's Hammer LED headlights from Volvo's bin evolve in this design with two separate elements.

Polestar Precept The concept pays special attention to rear seat head- and legroom.Photo courtesy of Polestar

Above the SmartZone is an integrated front wing while a wide light-blade spans the entire width of the vehicle's backside, extending into vertical aero-wings.

Side mirrors have been replaced by camera mirrors that are extended into the air on an aerodynamic arm. Cameras like this have been appearing on vehicles for a few years and are already available in Europe. A similar style camera captures all activity at the rear of the car, eliminating the need for a rearview mirror.

Some of the materials that make up the Precept's interior include flax-based composites for interior panels and seatbacks. Seat surfaces are 3D-knitted from recycled PET bottles, bolsters and headrests are made from recycled cork vinyl, while carpets are made from reclaimed fishing nets. These elements, combined with digital artistry, define a new premium luxury that surpasses the conventions of leather, wood and chrome.

The digital interfaces of the car build on Volvo and Polestar's already-established relationship with Google. Running on Android, the portrait-oriented 15-inch center touch screen complements a 12.5-inch driver display. The instrument panel has an array of smart sensors that monitor a driver's gaze and adjust content on the screens accordingly.

A solid piece of Swedish crystal between the rear seat headrests.

The public will get their first look at the Polestar Precept during the Geneva International Motor Show next month.

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The teaser image of the 2027 Kia lineup includes numerous cars and SUVs.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has revealed plans to launch seven new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2027 in numerous segments. The first, code named CV, will launch in 2021 and serve as the kickoff to a new Kia design direction. The move is known internally as the “Plan S" strategy. Under Plan S, Kia's BEV line will include 11 models by 2025.

The announcement coincides with the company's stated goal of having 25 percent of Kia's global sales come from BEVs by 2029. To do that, the company plans to work to expand the world's electric vehicle (EV) charging network. Kia has sold over 100,000 BEVs worldwide since the company introduced its first model in 2011, the Kia Ray.

Kia Ray EV 2011 The Kia Ray was the company's first production EV.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Plan S includes a company-wide business transformation that will include production, sales, and services. Dealerships will likely be required too invest in equipment to handle the influx of EVs. In the U.S, Kia will increase the number of EV work bays at dealerships to 600 by the end of 2020 and increase the number to more than 2,000 by 2023..

The product plan includes a diverse number of models. The vehicles will include BEVs that are “suitable for urban centers, long-range journeys, and performance driving". They will be based on the company's new adaptable Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The platform will allow for best-in-class interior spaciousness, according to Kia.

Though subscription services have not gained widespread popularity in the U.S., the company is exploring the creation of subscription services, as well as EV battery leasing and rental programs. Other “second life" battery-related businesses may be part of the plan as well.

Kia also plans to add around 500 charging stations in North America, partnering with its dealer networks. Further, the company is seeking a partner in North America to support a larger infrastructure buildout.

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The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross used the Internet of Things to connect to the My Mitsubishi Connect app

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors North Americ

Mitsubishi has enlisted Aeris and Dealer-FX to better connect owners to their vehicles. Using integrations with the Aeris Mobility Services and Dealer-FX ONE platforms, the My Mitsubishi Connect mobile app will now enable Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross drivers to view real-time service and maintenance needs, as reported by their vehicles.

The system will push timely notifications from the vehicle to the app and the owner's smart mobile device allowing them to act in a matter of seconds rather than trying to remember that a warning light cane in while operating the vehicle.

"Mitsubishi customers are dreamers, achievers, entrepreneurs – active in their communities and in their family homes, and their time is extremely valuable," said Mark Chaffin, Chief Operating Officer of MMNA. "The My Mitsubishi Connect app allows us to enhance their experience, be more efficient with their time and continue to demonstrate our commitment to delivering high quality, top value vehicles with leading-edge technology in the U.S."

This isn't the company's first IoT foray. When it debuted, Mitsubishi Road Assist+ was the first hardware-free, smartphone-based app provided by an OEM that allowed owners to realize the cost savings of usage-based insurance without having to own "connected car" with built-in telematics capabilities or aftermarket-installed telematics hardware.

Mitsubishi continues to grow its presence in the U.S. market. The company recently relocated its headquarters from California to the Nashville, Tennessee area near where Renault-Nissan- Mitsubishi Alliance member Nissan has its North American headquarters.

The company recently announced a partnership with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center to create the Small Batch - Big Ideas Entrepreneur Network, which gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from Mitsubishi executives, among other benefits.

The My Mitsubishi Connect and Mitsubishi Road Assist+ apps are currently available on the Google Play store and the Apple's App Store for use on Android and iOS devices.

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