Transforming the SUV coupé

When contemplating our next car, Polestar 4, we had to ask a simple question: “How will a Polestar SUV coupé be different to all the rest and solve typical SUV coupé downsides?”

Our second SUV takes on a segment that has rapidly increased in popularity over the last decade, with more consumers buying into the idea of a high-riding, commanding and versatile SUV with the sporty, sleek silhouette of a coupé. Gone are the days of words like “coupé” being the preserve of a two-door sports car. BMW is often cited as the pioneer of the modern coupé style with the launch of their original concept in 2006. First of its kind, the truly unique BMW X6 SUV coupé would open the door to a completely new crossover segment. Never before had the world seen a car that was half off-roader and half sports car. And few would have predicted this style would be one automotive’s most booming segments in the decades that followed. However, cars like this haven’t really changed since the birth of the style, leaving challenges like limited passenger space and rear visibility compromised.

 With a segment stuck in time, we knew dramatic measures were required if our SUV coupé was going to up the game. Much like we did with Polestar 3, we assessed the traditional SUV coupé body style, identified the good and bad, and worked on a bespoke new car that would tick the boxes consumers needed ticked – but would also eliminate some of the drawbacks.

Typically, when creating an SUV coupé, a car company starts with an existing, standard SUV. To create the coupé silhouette – long, sleek and sporty – the front and rear roof headers are repositioned to create a new roofline that tapers off towards the rear. The front gets a bit taller and the rear gets a lot lower – but this leads to compromised rear headroom and even worse visibility in the rear-view mirror. Dare we say it, slightly awkward dimensions as well.

What could we do to address this – to not only create a better rear occupant experience but also to craft a more harmonious silhouette overall? Our Precept concept car previewed the solution in 2020. And in Polestar 4 we bring it to life in a mainstream car for the first time: the removal of the rear window.

Arguably the biggest talking point of this car’s design, removing the rear window meant we could push the rear header further back and make it even lower, resulting in a beautifully sleek roof line – as well as a very long, single-piece glass roof. The glass ends just behind the rear occupants’ heads, making the interior feel exceptionally airy and light.

With no rear window, we could also envelop the rear seats in a cocoon-like structure, giving the environment a more business-class feel. Add the adjustable ambient lighting inspired by the solar system and a beautiful ‘orbit line’ that circumvents the cabin, and we created a truly unique place to be. As for rear visibility, a wide-angle, high-definition camera mounted on the roof displays a feed on an HD screen that replaces the traditional rear-view mirror. Moms and dads can still use it as a mirror to see the kids, though.

Despite the rear occupant benefits, Polestar 4 is still a driver’s EV. It’s our fastest production car to date – with up to 400 kW (544 hp) and 686 Nm enabling a 0-100 km/h sprint time of just 3.8 seconds (preliminary). Expert performance tuning and a semi-active chassis continue the red thread shared by all our cars – being comfortable and controllable every day but ready for serious action at any moment.

It’s available for pre-order in China this year, with an official launch and sales in all other markets to begin in 2024.

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Milan is the centre of the design universe (again)

With machine learning exhibitions, anti-smartphone throwbacks, and a giant brutalist orange lavatory, Milan Design Week is always one of the most sought-after tickets on the cultural calendar. Designs first seen on these well-trodden streets inevitably filter down into your homes, wardrobes, and, yes, even cars. As any good creative will tell you, if you want to see what’s coming next in the world of design, you must first start in Milan. We join Nargess Banks for this year’s must-see attractions at Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone.