Concept Cars

Polestar preaches sustainability as a distraction during social isolation, debuts Precept

Polestar's new concept car gives a glimpse at the future of the brand.

Photo county of Polestar

Polestar used to be known as a performance brand before Geely, the parent company of Volvo and Polestar, designated it as a high-end performance electric vehicle brand in 2017. Now, the company is laser focused on next-gen innovation that not only carries the Polestar badging but also that of Volvo in America where Polestar trimmed models are still sold.

In an effort to showcase that innovation, Polestar has debuted a series of concept models. Their 2020 plans were derailed a bit when the Geneva International Motor Show was cancelled in March. Now, in a virtual debut via video, we're getting our first peek at the Polestar Precept concept.

Polestar Precept concept car 2020The car was to have debuted in March at the now-cancelled Geneva International Motor Show.Photo county of Polestar

The model showcases "sophisticated, high-tech minimalism that redefines beauty for the sustainable age," says Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar, at the beginning YouTube video as he leans up against the car, which sits in front of a wall of stacked flax.

Cue the auto show reveal music.

The cover comes off (though we've already seen the vehicle driving in the montage leading up to this point).

Starting with the front of the car, the Precept has a new take on Volvo's signature Thor's hammer headlights with sold body structure separating headlights and fog lamps.

Polestar Precept concept car 2020Designers took a stab reinventing Volvo's Thor's hammer headlights for this concept.Photo county of Polestar

In place of a grille, traditionally designed for cooling internal combustion engines, is the "smart zone", a gathering place for technology. This is similar to what is found in the Nissan Ariya Concept. This zone, says Ingenlath, causes the car to "go from breathing to seeing."

"Strength and endurance" define the exterior aesthetics of the Precept, according to Ingenlath, who also says that the, "skin of the Polestar Precept radiates power without posing." In the age of COVID-19, it seems gimmicky jargon still has a place in society.

Many automakers are focusing on recycled materials and waste cut-downs in their concept vehicles. Bentley showed off an interior made of grape skins leftover from the wine making process last year. Ford has been talking about soy in seats and tomato skins in the trunk of the Mustang for the better part of a decade.

Polestar Precept concept car 2020The interior of the concept car features sustainable materials.Photo county of Polestar

Leather, wood, and chrome are left behind in favor of high-tech solutions. The interior of the Precept features materials woven from flax, like that behind the model in the video. The interior door panels feature the material, which is 50-percent lighter than traditional inserts and contains 80-percent less plastic. Its seats feature a 3D knit material that is made of 100-percent recycled yarn that has its origins with PET bottles and that is cut from a single thread to exactly to fit the seats with no waste.

The car can also act like Big Brother, waring the driver and slowing the vehicle down if its technology detects that the driver isn't looking at the road enough. Similar technology (including frequent beeping alerts) is already available on the Subaru Outback and Forester.

Polestar Precept concept car 2020The model features computer systems that run on Google's Android platform.Photo county of Polestar

Between the driver and passenger is a 15.5-inch touch screen interface has Google's Android system running in the background and features a clean aesthetic in fitting with the design of the car. It is on this screen that Ingenlath suggests watching streaming services as your car sits at the charging station refueling.

Cue to the auto show music (again).

Polestar Precept out.

Polestar Preceptwww.youtube.com

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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The new Type R set a Suzuka Circuit lap record.

Honda

The new Honda Civic somehow improves on the formula laid out by its numerous predecessors and does so with style, refinement, and value. The Civic Si built on that foundation with a potent turbocharged engine and solid handling, but Honda's not done with the Civic. The automaker just teased the new Civic Type R, and it set records at Japan's Suzuka Circuit during a recent testing session.

The All-New 2023 Type R Achieves Track Record at Suzukawww.youtube.com

The Type R lapped Suzuka Circuit in 2 minutes, 23.120 seconds, a record-breaking lap for a front-wheel drive car. The video features neat telemetry information on-screen during the lap as well, but the real excitement comes later when full specs are revealed.

Honda's been understandably mum on details on the new Type R's powertrain and performance numbers, but the car is expected to carry the same powertrain with its predecessor. The 300-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine made that car a force to be reckoned with, so the 2023 Civic Type R will likely continue carrying that torch.

Honda Civic Type RHonda will fully reveal the car this summer. Honda

Honda will reveal the car in all its glory this summer. As for pricing, the previous car started around $38,000, so the new model should be around there to start. That, of course, is before dealers mark it up and other lucky buyers snap them up for insane resale on an auction site.

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