Skip to main content

Polestar’s Precept concept is an electric fastback with a recycled interior

Volvo-owned Polestar unveiled a concept car named Precept that signals the direction it will take during the 2020s. It takes the form of an electric, performance-tuned fastback fitted with an interior made largely from recycled materials and equipped with one of the coolest infotainment systems I’ve seen.

Polestar currently makes two cars plainly named 1 and 2, respectively. Both started life as Volvo design studies before being passed to the young automaker’s vehicle development team, so neither fully illustrates its own approach to design. The Precept is the first car it designed in-house starting with a blank sheet of paper, and it marks a clean break with the Volvo-imbued design language that characterizes the 1 and the 2.

It’s sporty, but not in an aggressive manner. It’s elegant, but it’s not boring to look at. And Polestar neatly integrated the various sensors, cameras, and radars required for semi-autonomous driving into the overall design.

This minimalist approach to car design continues in the cabin, where recycled materials reign supreme. The passengers sit on 3D-knitted pieces of plastic bottles instead of leather or cloth, the carpets are made with reclaimed fishing nets, while the headrests are manufactured using recycled cork vinyl.

The dashboard is dominated by a 15-inch, portrait-oriented touchscreen that displays the next evolution of the infotainment system Polestar developed jointly with Google. It aims to offer a more contextualized and personalized experience by taking into account each user’s identity and their pre-determined preferences. If you’re in an unfamiliar area, and if you’ve looked for tacos in the past, the software might suggest a nearby Mexican restaurant. Video streaming will be available, though Polestar hasn’t revealed its partners yet, so it could suggest new shows that line up with your viewing history. These features will only work if you allow them to.

Google Assistant is built directly into the infotainment system, and the screen automatically dims or brightens depending on light conditions, and whether or not the front passengers are looking at it. Don’t stare for too long, though; it emits visual and audible warnings if it detects the driver’s eyes are off the road.

Polestar hasn’t released technical specifications, so all we know about the Precept’s powertrain is that it’s electric. With the notable exception of the 1, which is a plug-in hybrid, Polestar pledged to only make electric cars.

While the Precept is merely a concept car, Polestar stressed it’s also a manifesto of things to come. Reading the tea leaves reveals motorists will be able to buy it (or something like it) in the early 2020s, complete with the aforementioned tech features. And, of course, it will be entirely electric.

“This is not a dream of a distant future,” company boss Thomas Ingenlath hinted in a statement.

Editors' Recommendations

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
BMW’s technology flagship is an electric SUV with concept car-like styling
2022 BMW iX

Developed as an electric car from the ground up, the iX is unlike any SUV ever released by BMW. Its polarizing design hides a thoroughly modern powertrain and cutting-edge technology features that will permeate other members of the company's range during the 2020s. It's not a concept, either: It's headed to production in 2021.

The iX lives up to its positioning as BMW's tech flagship by offering 20 times the computing power of the company's current SUVs, and by inaugurating a built-in 5G connection made possible by a partnership with Samsung. 5G will transform the ultimate driving machine into the ultimate streaming machine. It notably makes zero-delay streaming possible, which opens the door to in-car gaming, virtual reality experiences, and movie streaming at resolutions up to 4K. On a secondary but equally important level, it will also let BMW integrate an array of semiautonomous driving functions that need low latency, guaranteed network coverage, and an allotted minimum data rate to function.

Read more
How electric technology allowed Polestar to create a charismatic sedan
Polestar Precept concept

Volvo-owned Polestar introduced a head-turning concept named Precept ahead of the annual Geneva auto show. The event was canceled at the last minute due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic, so the electric sedan didn't get its 15 minutes of fame on the industry's stage. Instead, I caught up with the firm's lead designer to learn what it's about.

Maximilian Missoni openly describes the Precept (pictured) as an accurate preview of what Polestar's future models will look like. It's a statement of intent, but it's not necessarily going to reach production as-is. Instead, some of its defining styling cues will end up on an electric crossover that will soon join the 1 and the 2 in the company's range.

Read more
Polestar starts production of its Tesla Model 3 rival in China
Polestar 2 production line

Volvo-owned Polestar gave the entire automotive industry a small glimmer of hope by announcing it has launched production of its second model, the aptly-named 2, in a facility located in China. The announcement comes as numerous car factories in the United States and Europe are shuttered to slow the fast-spreading coronavirus.

Launching production in Luqiao, a coastal city located south of Shanghai, was easier said than done because China idled its industrial sector in early 2020 as it battled against the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The nation's entire supply chain was disrupted for weeks on end but the Polestar team managed to quickly overcome these significant challenges and begin building the 2 right on schedule. "This is a great achievement and the result of huge efforts," affirmed company CEO Thomas Ingenlath.

Read more