Polestar Prototype Survives Crash Test

Now that its initial crash test was successful, Volvo’s research team plans to take the electric vehicle to the wind tunnel.

The Polestar 1 is the concept behind Volvo's performance arm, Polestar. The idea is for the group to experiment with cutting edge technology that could then be used in Volvo cars. Like all cars before they hit the market, the Polestar 1 has to go through rigorous testing.

Last week, the team put their verification prototype on a 157-meter test track and sped it into a head-on collision at 35 mph, all captured by 12 cameras at about 1,000 frames per second, as well as enough testing and data acquisition equipment that it took seven days to set up. The result was a successful crash test, right down to the dummy's smeared face on the airbag.

According to Polestar, "It’s not enough to only test for the predictable ... It’s also imperative to test for the unpredictable."

Accidents are never planned, but they can be anticipated, which is why this is just the first of many crash tests for the verification prototype cars.

According to the company, the verification prototype challenges existing norms for an electric car — everything from the aesthetics to the driver experience.

Carbon fiber plays a large role in the Polestar 1 to make the body more rigid and more responsive. The entire upper body is carbon fiber-reinforced polymer, but the “game changer” is what they call the Dragonfly, a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) patch bonded to to the steel underbody to increase torsional stiffness by 45 percent.

Now that the initial crash test was successful, the team plans to take the Polestar 1 to the wind tunnel.

The electric vehicle is set to debut in 2019, and it will cost $155,000.

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