Transforming the SUV coupe
When contemplating our next car, Polestar 4, we had to ask a simple question: “How will a Polestar SUV coupe be different from all the rest and solve typical SUV coupe 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 coupe. Gone are the days of words like "coupe" 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 coupe 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 of the 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 coupe was going to up the game. Much like we did with Polestar 3, we assessed the traditional SUV coupe 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 coupe, a car company starts with an existing, standard SUV. To create the coupe 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 (253 lb-ft) enabling a 0-60 mph 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.
Shredding surfboards to make sustainable skateboards
In the past decades, skateboarding has moved from the fringes of society to the TV screen, from subculture to the Olympic games. With that type of trajectory, we wondered what the next step for skateboarding might be. So, we travelled to the birthplace of skateboarding to find out. Surf and skateboard manufacturer Shred MFG tells a story of passion, craftsmanship, and a greener future for the boarding community.