The electric revolution that is slowly taking root in other parts of the car market will likely take its time to really blossom in this one. Batteries and electric motors may currently seem like the last things you might choose in a car bought with continent-crossing in mind; and it may very well remain that way for some time. However, plug-in hybrids have a ready reply to the insoluble problem of range; and with the Polestar 1, an emergent and innovative car-maker from the Volvo Car Group’s stable has rather ably demonstrated how appealing a fast GT with a charging socket can be.
Polestar’s debut model draws power from two electric motors (which operate through separate transmissions and are therefore capable of providing genuinely asymmetrical torque vectoring) at its rear axle, but also from a 300-horsepower, four-cylinder petrol engine cradled between its front wheels. Overall its peak power nudges just beyond 600-horsepower; and on peak torque, thanks to those electric motors, it beats most of the other cars in this list. Being so transformatively electrified, however, it’s a car with big, instant acceleration from low speeds, and perhaps not the autobahn clout of some of its direct rivals.
The 1 will be a rare sight in the UK. Coming in left-hand drive only and with limited boot space on account of its mechanical layout, it won’t be the easiest super-GT to use – but it will certainly reward buyers with its alternative style, its enveloping interior, and with a multi-faceted driving experience that can make it change its motive character like a virtuoso impressionist comedian. 70-mile EV; easy-going everyday-use GT car; or driver’s car of the future? The choice is yours.
Little in the motoring world is more wonderful than the most aristocratic of passenger car blue-bloods dressed for some weekend amusement.
That’s what the Wraith represents. Rolls-Royce introduced the two-door ‘gran turismo’ version of its smaller Ghost saloon in 2013, and with it announced the most driver-focused car in its history.
The elegant two-door is only small by Rolls’ standards, of course; it’s easily big enough to accommodate adults in its beautifully appointed rear seats and has boot space for plenty of designer luggage.
Up front, it trades some of the extravagance and formality of the interiors of its sister models for a more casual, intimate and understated ambience. Again though, Rolls’ idea of understated is still sufficiently stately to include soft hides, gleaming brightwork and large expanses of gorgeous wood veneer panelling.
The Wraith’s handling has a starchier, crisper edge than the Ghost’s, making the car very happy to be whisked along a testing road at pace and well capable of rewarding an interested driver with its deliciously weighted steering and strong, balanced grip levels.