It takes more than wind to wind test a car. To be exact, it takes a three-ton fan, a steel tunnel measuring 11 metres in diameter and 163 metres in length, a heat exchanger the size of a wall, 24 hours of computer simulations, innumerable six-hour shifts, and as much steam and liquid nitrogen smoke as needed to wind test a car.
These wind tests are done to see how the car performs according to different criteria: contamination, aerodynamics, thermodynamics, climate comfort, energy efficiency, and internal environment. These criteria measure everything to do with wind, whether it’s the potential emissions caused by the material used to make the car’s interior, to the combination of rolling and air resistance which the car must overcome to move forward. The Polestar 1 has to undergo these tests, just like any other car.
There are numerous design touches that influence the aerodynamics of the Polestar 1, the most distinctive of which is the active rear spoiler. Deploying automatically once the car reaches 100 km/h, and retracting when the car goes below 70 km/h, the rear spoiler is an innovative design solution meant to optimise the Polestar 1’s performance by creating downforce on the rear axle, and is something that needs to be tested during these wind tunnel procedures. Another design feature that needs to be accounted for are the lower outer grilles. Placed in deep recesses in the lower front of the car, these grilles can be opened and closed in order to efficiently cool the batteries and other electrical components.
These design features are tested under the watchful eye of Senior Analysis Engineer and Aerodynamics Ph.D. Lennert Sterken, and a team of wind tunnel personnel. “Of course, from an aerodynamics standpoint, we like the combination of a low roofline with an active rear spoiler” says Sterken of the Polestar 1.
From there, the Polestar 1 will make its way to the baking deserts of Arizona for further testing, as the wind tunnel does not provide all the conditions required for wind testing. It takes more than wind to wind test a car, and the Polestar 1 wind tunnel test was completed successfully. Stay tuned for Chapter Three, in which we detail the process that goes into dampers testing.
The importance of impatience: Polestar 2 sustainability upgrades
Patience. A famously good thing. There is no end to the folksy phrases and nuggets of wisdom that emphasise the importance of being good at waiting. Patience, it’s said, is a virtue. But when it comes to righting environmental wrongs, it’s also a luxury. One we don’t have. Which is the reasoning behind the Polestar 2 sustainability upgrades.
Vehicle, or art: Polestar 1 and the Art for Art initiative
What defines art is an age-old question. While some art is created merely to be aesthetically appealing, some is meant to be interpretive. Some pieces ask questions, others make statements. However, they all inspire a reaction. Much like Polestar 1. So, why not use one to buy the other?
Golden moments in the Cube
Rarity adds value. The less common something is, the more it’s worth. Polestar 1, a hand-built electric performance hybrid, is one of these rare and correspondingly valuable things. One of the 25 Polestar 1s rendered in gold is even rarer. So, when three customers arrived at Polestar HQ to each take home a golden Polestar 1, we decided to document those golden moments.