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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Avoidable Contact #153: More than just a $160,000 plastic Mustang from China

Some cars are works of art; the Polestar 1 is a work of modern art. This is not necessarily a compliment. For most of human history, "art" was simply a term for creative efforts that rose above mediocrity in service of what was called "the true, the good, and the beautiful."
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/avoidable-contact/avoidable-contact-153-more-than-just-a-16000...
56 REPLIES 56
seinfeldbasslin
Intermediate Driver

this car with the 6 cylinder powertrain out of the 2013 class of polestar modified vehicles, and sans all electrification, would be an interesting and compelling alternative to the 4 series tedium one normally sees in affluent areas. one has to wonder when the secondary market of ripping out EV equipment and replacing them with ICE engines will begin to rear its head. as it sits, it looks like an unprofitable-for-volvo and "anyone's guess" resale vehicle sold strictly to people who use words like "synergistic" and "new normal" without a single hint of irony. hard pass.
Snailish
Engineer

There was an article about a GM EV1 that somehow dodged the return-and-crush mandate and was wasting away in a parking garage.

I thought it would be great irony to LS swap that.
AdrianClarke
Instructor

This car is virtually the 2013 Volvo Concept Coupe, which then became the 2014 Volvo Concept Estate. One look at either of these and you’d have known they never would have hit a mid market price point. Which is why they span it off as a Polestar so they could price as they have done.
S2kChris22
Pit Crew

In this affluent area just outside of Chicago, all of the non-CUV BMWs have been replaced by Teslas of all modes. I almost never see a new 3/4 series anymore, and 5-series are rare. Thankfully no one buys the absolutely hideous 7 so we don’t have to lay eyes on that.
miata93
Instructor

LOL, Tesla has become the new "Ultimate Driving Machine" for Chicagoland's "Ultimate Drivers".  What a joke !

Punk
Instructor

While you are lucky not to have to see the 7s, you are forced to look at the ass-ugly Teslas. We are the same here in the great northwest where, at least for now, the well-heeled, young, environmentally conscious liberals like the Tesla. One has to wonder how long that will last as the company's founder continues to assault everything liberals love. For my eyes, hopefully not very much longer.
DavidHolzman
Advanced Driver

And here in the well-heeled, environmentally conscious 'burbs outside of Boston. My neighborhood, a mid-century modern development of ~60 houses, has around 15 ass-ugly Teslas, mostly 3s, and two "Mustangs," which aren't quite as ugly as the Teslas.
AdrianClarke
Instructor

Hooo boy. You really stole my thunder with this one, with the actual advantage of having you know, driven the damn thing.

I’ll be doing a column tomorrow about all of this (not the Polestar specifically), but all I will say for now - this is how you design a car.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

At the risk of disagreeing with someone far better at this than I am:

Tony Lapine once said that the test of a great design is that it looks better over time. I think his 928 holds up in that regard.

This Polestar 1 looks like a million bucks when you first see it. Then the strangeness of the proportions, most notably the way the wheels seem too big and yet the doors are too tall and too flame-surfaced, starts to creep into your perception. After driving it for a day I no longer thought it was good-looking at all.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

Replying to myself: I think the Polestar 1 is like the current Dodge Challenger: if you could somehow cut six or even three inches out of the space between rocker panel and windowsill it would be gorgeous.
Snailish
Engineer

A "section job" as per Valley Custom in the 50s.

 

Granted early 50s Fords and the 50 Oldsmobile of Jack Stewart (done by Valley) were metal bodies and lead work. Not sure if anyone dares section on unibody modern material cars...

 

Anyways, I agree. I think the Ford 500/Taurus needs the same treatment.

CitationMan
Gearhead

This 2010 Challenger with 1971 Plymouth GTX panels is on BAT right now.

CitationMan_0-1655398853112.png

 

AdrianClarke
Instructor

That’s surprisingly not horrible. I’d wanna eyeball it in person though. The nose looks a little low.
9lbhammer
Advanced Driver

Many of those old/new combo cars are a little off in person. Much like a friend of a friend who's a semi famous IG hoe. Both look great in pictures and lose their sparkle in the unforgiving daylight. They've got something on me, as I neither look good in the daylight or in pics.
TonyT
Technician

Kinda like it looked in 1970?
MrKnowItAll
Advanced Driver

I've always called the new Challenger "the box that the original Challenger came in"- a retelling of the 65 Ford vs 63 Pontiac comparison.
AdrianClarke
Instructor

To be fair, I only have pictures to go on. I agree the test of time is a valid one though. But I’m still looking at pictures after all this time and thinking goddamn.
CitationMan
Gearhead

The odd proportions in the side view photo made me think of the new BMW 4 Series coupe.
Both cars are just……off.
audiocage
Advanced Driver

Bricasti M7 for me, please.
compaqdeskpro
Detailer

"It gives the innately demonic urge to live a demonic, deathlike form."

If I was a dead shark I'd be offended.
Maestro1
Technician

I don't like the design, which is out of proportion nor the complexity of the car. I don't know
its price which will make probably even more absurd. You are correct regarding demographic; I know some people like that and they lack social, moral, emotional, and intellectual sophistication.
Allow me to remind you that Art is the expression of its maker; how the viewer/listener whatever responds to the work is up to each individual.
I own mechanical cars. I can afford most of the techno idiocy. I won't buy any of it, and
all of the wonderful Hagerties should not put their lives in the hands of a chip.
Thank you, Jack, once again.
miata93
Instructor

The shark reminds me of the time I almost got kicked off the Captain Nemo Nautilus ride at Disney World. That would have made it worth spending 90 minutes waiting in line.
Complexity doesn't sell in the long run. None of the enduring designs seem to be really that complex.
I just found my October 1978 Car & Driver annual new car issue in my garage. It is similar to the one that you pulled from the archives a few weeks ago. The full page fine print ads that you mention are in there. There is one where R. Buckminster Fuller endorses the Honda Civic Hatchback. Apparently its handling is second only to his own design: The Dymaxion. My favorite ad from this era was the one that implied that a Mercedes Benz 4-door sedan was the engineering equivalent of the Ford Granada because from 20 feet it looked like they shared similar looking tail lights, wheel covers, and several other features. If you have to explain a car to people, they just won't "get it". You have already lost your market. If they drive it and then "get it" it will sell.
I think that I will pass on the Polestar as well. It appears to have been designed for a market that does not exist yet and probably never will.
snavehtrebor
Pit Crew

I have a white S60 T6 and think the sedan is much better proportioned than the coupe. The interior is lovely. OTOH I have to make due without any electric motors, which I'm fine with. Strangely, the 2.0 with turbo and supercharging sounds like.... an industrial-sized sewing machine.
MoparMan
Advanced Driver

"And in this corner, weighing in at a hefty 5,700+ pounds, the Polestar!" Wow! That's a heavy car for its size! Maybe that's why it's a six figure car, it's priced by the pound!! 🙂
tigercat
Detailer

How did China get a plastic car to weigh so much? Are they dumping their lead into the body panels to try and get rid of more of it at the expense of world safety?
TonyT
Technician

C'mon, Jack. How many tons does it weigh? Don't leave us hanging...
If, as you say, this is the possible future of performance cars, then "performance" will mean something different. Slower, heavier and grinding the edges off the tires when cornering is going to be acceptable to whom, exactly? Will there be no more 24 hour races at Daytona or Le Mans in this future? Toyota has shown that a racing hybrid can go and stop better than just about anything else. Certainly that technology will filter down to street vehicles, performance-wise. Volvo used to race in the BTCC with a wagon. Is Geely going to step up and flex that muscle again?
DavidHolzman
Advanced Driver

5,600 lbs
MeJ
Advanced Driver

This car is weird for me because style-wise it has the opposite effect of most cars. Usually when I see a new design it takes a while for me to 'get it' and realize how nice it is. This car has the opposite effect: the more I see it the uglier it becomes...
YesDear
Intermediate Driver

Such an appreciation for the finer points of Swenese artistry at a time in which, rather than eating our veggies as Mom commanded, we elect them to high office.
MrJoshua79
Pit Crew

So ugly and overpriced, that I stopped looking for the Mustang in the article.
Timbo
Detailer

Enough with the Chinese already; buy American.
DocHolliday
Pit Crew

Says the guy typing away on a phone/computer made in China.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

I don't trust Volvo. Their 4 cylinders with turbo and supercharging are over-stressed pieces of junk. I don't trust Chinese made EV's to last much longer than a leasing agreement. I'd rather do a Toyota if I have to go buy a toaster.
wjones1954
Intermediate Driver

…or you could get a new Shelby GT500 ($77,000) AND a Tesla Model Y ($63,000) and still have $20k left for a Ford Maverick so you don’t have to get the other two dirty.
tigercat
Detailer

Again here like in earlier stories I always go out of my way like so many others say to not buy Chinese, definitely will never go out of my way to buy Chinese. Lowest quality historically of all manufactured products throughout my lifetime from any of the Asian countries, then the coming of confrontation that is inevitable between our countries that after the devastation will reset world manufacturing and economies for decades to come and all from greedy manufacturers who to make an extra buck created this situation. If I want quality I will buy Japanese.
RallyRaid
Detailer

Looks ok to me. Just a bit heavy and a bit spendy…
The main thing this article served was as a reminder that Thailand has to be one of the most underrated countries for high speed cross country driving. Although the north is better than the south, thanks to three lane dual-carriageways with banked turns. You are kept on your toes by the locals but only in a 120 degree arc - what’s behind you is genuinely not

important.
This Volvo would be great there. Assuming you can charge it…

Rick2
Instructor

They can continue to push Chinese manufacturing on us but if there is any choice at all then an emphatic NO!
jaysalserVW
Advanced Driver

I'd hate to be the company/employees who have to work on this monstrosity when something goes wrong! And, you know what ? Stuff WILL go wrong! First, drag out the Manual, translated into English by Google-Chinese. hummmmm Don't get me wrong--the Chinese language is great. But, something usually is lacking in the translation thereof into English. By a computer!
TA76
Detailer

First remember China is not our friend and in fact is our enemy. Second this is a piece of dog do-do. It is butt ugly. Even in context it is not art. What a joke. As often said "there is a sucker born every day".
MustangJim
Technician

Looks are subjective , I'm sure many find it to be beautiful. I'm with you and others on the China situation. There are cheap things made in China that we cannot avoid, but we don't need to buy high ticket autos from China when comparable if not better ones are made domestically, in Europe and friendly Asian countries such as south Korea and Japan. My son summed it up well when my brother bought an s60. Nice for a Chinese car.
motorsledge
Intermediate Driver

In the context of a 65 year old car nut, it represents the antithesis of the P1800!
5869Corvette
Intermediate Driver

You state that Volvo believes everything will be manufactured in China. If they weren’t owned by the Chinese I don’t think they would have that sentiment. Honestly, we have so many car choices…. Why even consider buying something made in a country that is bent on world domination and silencing all critics if you have a choice…. This was sent from an iPhone made in China. Trust me, if had a choice of one made elsewhere I’d take it!
SAG
Technician

a Swedish / Mustang / Built in China?
"Did Rick Sanchez have something to do with this"?
FloridaMarty
Instructor

What ever happened to K.I.S.S.
JBBearcat
Advanced Driver

Designed and sold by people who don't have to think about mundane reality.
Car broke?,
The folks who live in Malibu Just take the Porsche, Tesla, $150,000 electric Mercedes out of the garage.
They have accountants pay for it all and never see a bill.

Yet these are the people telling us how to live.
plank
Detailer

Hahaha....Mustang? Surely you jest.
JBBearcat
Advanced Driver

A question for automakets...
Why not make great looking cars people (real people, not the Ivy League Yuppies who populate the south shore of Long Island and Martha's Vineyard in the summer) can actually afford?



CitationMan
Gearhead

That grill is giving off a Hannibal Lecter mask vibe. The squinty headlights don’t help.
Oldroad1
Gearhead

Just another cookie cutter sedan, nothing special. Coming out of china puts a significant scratch on the door.