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Side mirrors have been replaced by camera mirrors that are extended into the air on an aerodynamic arm.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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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

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