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 2020 The 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 2020 Designers 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 2020 The 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 2020 The 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 Precept www.youtube.com

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne is an all-electric hypercar

Photo courtesy of Hispano Suiza

The Hispano Suiza brand has been around for more than a century. Now primarily known as an aerospace company, the automotive side of the business is attempting a revival, first with the Carmen's introduction and now with the Carmen Boulogne, a sportier take on the Carmen.

The Carmen Boulogne is a fully electric and exclusive hypercar that was designed, developed, and manufactured in Barcelona, Spain. The company will create just five examples for sale.

Its name origin stretches back to 1921 when Hispano Suiza made a racing version of its high-performance H6 Coupé and entered it in the George Boillot Cup, an endurance race lasting more than 3.5 hours around the French city of Boulogne. Hispano Suiza took the win at the race in 1921, 1922, and 1923.

Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne Photo courtesy of Hispano Suiza

The Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne delivers 1,098 horsepower and has an electronically limited maximum speed of 180 mph. The car can get form zero to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds and weighs 3,593 pounds. Its weight is 60 pounds less than the traditional Carmen, a number that was achieved by changing out traditional structural elements for a carbon fiber subframe, among other parts. Additionally, the entire body of the car is carbon fiber.

The car's 80 kilowatt hour battery gives it a driving range of up to 248 miles. That's similar to the range of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. Its battery is designed and produced in-house, and has fast-charging capability of more than 80 kilowatts, taking just 30 minutes to charge from 30 to 80 percent via a CCS2 fast charger. It also has CHAdeMO and GB/T charging options.

Each rear wheel of the car has two permanent-magnet synchronous motors. The torque deliver of each motor is controlled through a vectoring system honed by experience in Formula E racing. Off the line through 6,500 rpm, the car is capable of reaching 1,180 pound-feet of torque.

The face of the car has the same semi-circular headlights and scowl as the Carmen, with the difference of a copper-colored grille. Buyers can customize their model to include either suede or black Alcantara on the dashboard and door panels.

Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne

Photo courtesy of Hispano Suiza

The price of the Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne starts at $2 million USD, and its manufacturing process requires approximately twelve month of lead time.

The five units of the Carmen Boulogne hypercar join the 14 units of the Carmen to reach a total of 19 units in production, with the first unit ready to be delivered in 2022.

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The all-electric Porsche Taycan took to a track in Germany to set a new world record.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The record holder for the longest drift with an electric vehicle belongs to the Porsche Taycan. A rear-wheel drive version of the electric sedan took the Guinness World Records title at the Porsche Experience Center in Hockenheimring, near Heidelberg, Germany.

Porsche instructor Dennis Reter completed 210 laps of a 200 meter-long drift circle without the Taycan's front wheels ever pointing in the same direction as the curve. The feat took 55 minutes and covered a total of 42.171 kilometers. Reter's average speed behind the wheel was 46 km/h.

Porsche Taycan Guinness Book of World Records The attempt was logged using experts from various professions, including a professional from the Guinness Book of World Records.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

"When the driving stability programmes are switched off, a powerslide with the electric Porsche is extremely easy, especially of course with this model variant, which is driven exclusively via the rear wheels," said Retera, "Sufficient power is always available. The low centre of gravity and the long wheelbase ensure stability. The precise design of the chassis and steering allows for perfect control at all times, even when moving sideways".

Retera has an extensive performance driving background. He is currently the Chief Instructor at the Porsche Experience Centre Hockenheimring. Previously he has competed in karting, single seaters, and endurance car races. Still, it was a challenge for him to pilot the car during the record-making experience.

"Nevertheless, it was also very tiring for me to keep my concentration high for 210 laps, especially as the irrigated asphalt of the drift circuit does not provide the same grip everywhere. I concentrated on controlling the drift with the steering – this is more efficient than using the accelerator pedal and reduces the risk of spinning," said Retera.

The attempt took place under the supervision of Guinness World Records official record judge Joanne Brent on the irrigated driving dynamics area of the Experience Center. Brent has five years experience supervising Guinness World Record attempts. "We've had some drift records, but with an electric sports car it's something very special for us too," said Brent. "Here Porsche has done real pioneering work."

Porsche Taycan Guinness Book of World Records The drifting circle at the Porsche Experience Center is 80 meters.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Overseeing the event wasn't just an easy spectator sport. Brent documented the record with a number of technical aids and independent experts. Before the attempt, a local land surveyor measured the 80-meter diameter area where the attempt was to take place with millimetre precision. GPS and yaw rate sensors within the vehicle were used for documentation purposes, as was a camera installed on the roof of the track's control tower, with which the record ride was filmed.

Denise Ritzmann, the 2018 and 2019 European drifting campion was responsible for ensuring the car remained permanently drifted during the attempt. "You can see at a glance whether the front wheels are pointing in a different direction to the curve. As long as this is the case, the car is drifting," she said. Together with Brent, she also counted the laps completed during the record attempt.

The Porsche Taycan Drifts into the Guinness World Records www.youtube.com

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