Kindred spirits: Jack Harding
Jack Harding is a UK-based nature and automotive photographer and champion of the Polestar brand since his encounter with the Polestar 1 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Jack recently took the Polestar 1 on a tour through Scotland, beginning in Edinburgh and ending on the Isle of Skye. We spoke with him about the trip, his thoughts on Polestar, and being spotted in Portree.
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
I always used to say that I’m a travel photographer, but these days I do more automotive, nature, and lifestyle. Capturing moments. I’m based in the UK, though I was actually based in Sweden for a few years. I found out about the Polestar 1 on social media and I was immediately interested.
Whereabouts did you live in Sweden?
Can you summarise the trip you’ve just taken with the Polestar 1?
We drove from Edinburgh, so we started by driving around the city itself, which is a very old, medieval city with cobbled streets and narrow roads. It was fantastic to have a car which you could put in all-electric mode and just drive very sensibly through the city in comfort. Then, we headed towards Glencoe, which is probably one of the most famous parts of the UK, where we really got to feel that 600 hp. Then we continued from Glencoe towards the Isle of Skye, which had us driving on sharper corners. So, we had a real mix (of conditions), which showed us that the Polestar 1 is essentially the perfect car.
What were your initial reactions when you first started driving?
It can really surprise you. You can be completely relaxed, driving slowly in pure electric mode though the city, and no-one would know you’re in car that has 1,000 Nm of torque. And then you get out of the city and use the power mode. It’s just phenomenal.
What about the scenery on this trip lent itself to photographing the Polestar 1?
I think it would be the mix of locations. In the city, the Polestar 1 looks fantastic: the beautiful front lights, the design, the 21” wheels. Then, once you hit the open roads, the aggressive, wide stance works really well. When we were driving through Portree for example, tons of people were trying to take pictures of the car, and those same people were messaging me on Instagram a week later saying “we saw you in Portree”. When we were in Glencoe, there was a guy who literally followed us for two hours. Everyone just gets obsessive about it. And it’s not only the Polestar 1. The brand is very exciting. People are messaging me saying “I’ve just found the brand”. It’s really nice to be a part of it.
If you could summarise the entire experience in one word, what word would that be?
“Sexy”. I’m not sure if you can use that. Let’s say “dynamic”. Or you can go with “sexy”.
Dynamic is definitely overused, so we’ll go with sexy. Given unlimited time and resources, where would you like to drive the Polestar 1 next?
I would love to drive through South Africa, and into a small country called Lesotho. There’s a common place there for brands to do testing of new cars, because you’ve got these incredible open roads and beautiful landscapes and there’s no-one there. The roads are just so quiet. You’ve got open roads, you’ve got mountain passes, you can drive along the edge of a river, you’ve got so many wild landscapes, and definitely a lot of opportunity for experiencing the car.
What makes Polestar a brand that you like to collaborate with?
Ooh, I hope Louise isn’t listening.
Louise Hardman, Polestar UK Head of Marketing (on the call after making the introductions): Not listening at all!
It’s really exciting to be a part of something new, which I personally believe is going to be huge in the future. If I talk to somebody in the pub for example, I’ll mention Polestar. I think this’ll grow over the next few years, especially with the release of the Polestar 2 as it’s more of a “mainstream” car. I got involved with the brand fairly early, so I’ve been waiting with as much anticipation for the release of the Polestar 2 as Polestar has.
Lastly, how many cases of Irn-Bru were you able to fit in the trunk of the Polestar 1?
None of the assistants were Scottish, so no-one was drinking it! I think you could fit quite a lot. Maybe that’s something for next time.
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